Where Are They Coming from? Visualizing the Movement of People to Major Urban Centers in the Late 19th Century

Sula Sarkar, University of Minnesota
Rebecca J. Vick, University of Minnesota

The availability of complete count historical microdata has permitted the linking of individuals between census years for longitudinal analysis thus enabling us to look at historical population mobility. These linked IPUMS datasets provide a variable called MILEMIG, which lists the number of miles traveled by each individual migrant from one census year to another. In this paper, we use GIS technology to visually represent MILEMIG as line or spider diagrams. These lines represent migrants moving into major urban and industrial hubs in the late 19th and early 20th century. Also, with the help of these maps and longitudinal data, we compare occupations of the linked individuals in the various urban centers from one census year to another and associate the change in occupational with their migration distances.

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Presented in Session 122: Economic Change and Migration to and within the United States