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Geographical Mobility: 1985

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Report Number P20-420


This report provides information collected in March of 1985 on the geographical mobility of Americans. The text highlights some of the changes that have occurred since the previous report, with particular reference to the volume and rate of movement, changes in the types of movement, the characteristics of movers, and changes in interregional patterns of population movement. The report’s detailed tables provide data on these and additional subjects.

In March of 1985, the Current Population Survey was in the midst of a major sample redesign. About half of the sample households surveyed that March were from the old sample and about half were in the new sample. Both samples were designed to represent regions; the new sample is also designed to represent States. The old sample was selected in 1972 and updated annually for new construction, demolitions, conversions, etc. The aggregate data for metropolitan areas as shown in the survey data from 1973 through 1984 represents metropolitan areas in 1972. The new sample is representative of metropolitan areas as defined in 1984 based on the results of the 1980 census.

The mixed sample in March 1985 adequately represents the Nation and the four census regions. Nevertheless, the data for migration between counties, States, and regions should be used with some caution, particularly when estimates are based on a small number of cases or when comparisons are made between numbers of similar magnitude. The metropolitan data, however, are not consistent with either the 1972 or 1984 metropolitan area definitions. Therefore, this report does not include any tabulations showing data for metropolitan areas or for migration within or between central cities, suburbs, and nonmetropolitan areas.

Data from two migration questions are presented in this report. The basic Current Population Survey question on residence 1 year earlier provides data on moving from March 1984 to March 1985 to compare with previous annual rates of moving. An additional question on residence 5 years earlier provides data on moving between March 1980 and March 1985 and measures longer term residential change. The same detailed tables are included for each migration interval. The text highlights findings for both periods.


Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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