Immigration, domestic migration and metropolitan change in the United States

William H. Frey, University of Michigan

An new demographic dynamic affecting metropolitan populations is the tendency for immigrant flows and domestic migration flows to dominate growth in different metropolitan areas and regions. As in other developed countries, the United States has begun to experience a significant "South to North" immigration, largely from Latin American and Asian origins. The destinations of these immigrants are unevenly distributed within the U.S. and concentrated primarily in selected large "port of entry" metropolitan areas. Many of these same "port of entry" areas are losing domestic migrants who are more likely to relocate in faster-growing, but smaller metropolitan areas, as well as non-metropolitan territories. This analysis draws from “residence 5 years ago” migration data from the 2000 US Census, to examine how these distinct immigration and domestic migration patterns are shaping the trends toward population deconcentration in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan area growth in the US.

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Presented in Session 120: Evolving patterns of population distribution in highly urbanised countries