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ASEC User Note: Redesign of the CPS ASEC 5-year Detailed Table Package for Geographic Mobility: 2020

The Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch has produced geographic mobility and migration tables since 1947. Since their inception, these tables have undergone various improvements. As of the 1948 survey year, one-year geographic mobility tables use data from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC). (The earliest migration tables used Census long form data.)

In addition to one-year estimates released annually, geographic mobility tables include five-year estimates for survey years ending in 0 and 5. Five-year migration tables have been produced from CPS ASEC data beginning with survey year 1975. (Earlier five-year tables used Census long form data, and these data were used for years ending in 0 until the long form’s discontinuation in 2010.) 

From the 2015 five-year table package to the 2020 five-year table package:

-       Some income categories have been collapsed to increase their usefulness for analysis. However, all new collapsed categories are combinations of more specific income categories that were included in 2015.

-       The number of columns was increased for some tables (including total movers, total US movers, total same-state movers, and total different-county movers, where applicable)

-       Tables differentiate between estimates that equal zero (denoted with a “0”) and those that round to zero, denoted by “(Z)”. Earlier five-year table packages used "-" to denote both values.

-       Table footnotes clarify the five-year migration universe and definitions of householders and family householders (refer to separate user note).

-       The poverty universe was clarified (refer to separate user note about this 2020 one-year update).

-       Labels and formatting were improved for clarity, usability, and accessibility.

The 2020 five-year table package includes metropolitan migration tables (14, 15, and 16). These were omitted from the 2015 five-year table package due to a transitioning sample design (refer to separate user note). Table numbers 19 through 22 in 2010 were also discontinued along with other tables as of 2015. From the 2010 to the 2020 iteration, clarifying language about the metropolitan status of geographies was updated and clarified (refer to separate 2018 and 2019 one-year user notes). The number of columns was also increased (for example, including total nonmetropolitan residents where applicable).

The detailed spreadsheet below outlines changes between the 2005, 2010, 2015, and 2020 five-year Geographic Mobility table packages.


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