The Great Migration of southerners away from their region of birth stands as one of the most significant demographic events in U.S. history. The first waves of migrants headed primarily to the Northeast and Midwest. During and after World War II, a larger proportion moved to the West. We use information from the 1970 through 2000 public use samples to compare the economic status of "onward migrants" from the Northeast and Midwest with that of "direct migrants" from the South. Our findings show that onward migrants had greater incomes and higher occupational statuses, but were not more likely to be employed than direct migrants with the same socio-demographic profiles. The economic advantages enjoyed by onward migrants were shared by blacks and whites and prevailed across three of the four decades considered in our analysis.


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pp. 1639-1663
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