Veterans' Migration Patterns and Population Redistribution in the United States, 1960-2000

Amy K. Bailey, Princeton University

Prior research finds that veterans have higher rates of long-distance migration than do nonveterans, and that this accelerated geographic mobility persists across the life course. This paper will explore the effects of veterans’ elevated rates of spatial mobility on U.S. population distribution over the latter half of the 20th century. I will use data from five decades of the population census (1960 through 2000) to determine how differential rates of interstate migration by veteran status have contributed to internal migration flows, including the depopulation of the Plains States and “rustbelt,” the increasing weight of population in the “Sunbelt,” and changes in state-by-state racial composition. I will also present counterfactual scenarios in which veterans’ migration – including both destination selection as well as mobility propensities – are constrained to mimic those of similar nonveterans.

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Presented in Poster Session 6