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  • March 19, 2019
  • Anderson, Donovan
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of City and Regional Planning
  • Paper 1: Black Migration to the South: Metropolitan Determinants of Black Primary and Return Migration, 1970-2010 This article addresses gaps in the Black migration literature using the IPUMS and Decennial Census to examine the effects of macro-level factors on Black primary and return migrations from the North to the South between 1970 and 2010. Specifically, the analysis seeks to explain the impact of metropolitan-level determinants on Black non-South to South migration. The regression models test three sets of variables that measure the metropolitan’s economic context, racial and ethnic characteristics, and middle class presence. Three key findings emerge from the results. First, in comparing the subregional effect on Black and White primary migrants, this study finds that the South Atlantic states are more attractive to primary migrants than the Inner South states and Texas, but there were no regional differences for return migrants. Second, more new housing in southern metropolitan areas is a positive draw for Black and White primary migrants, but is not for return migrants and high metropolitan poverty is a universal deterrent for all migrant types. And third, the results confirm previous findings that the migration to the South for Blacks, unlike Whites, cannot be characterized as a retirement-centered migration. In fact, for Blacks, this migration to the South may reflect a draw to living with successful in-group members, as there is some evidence that Blacks are significantly more likely to move to Southern metropolitan areas with a strong Black middle class presence, in contrast to their White counterparts. Paper 2: The New El Dorado: Locational Attainment of Black Primary and Return Migrants to the South, 1970-2010 The South is the New El Dorado for Blacks in the post-Civil Rights era. Fifty-five percent of the total U.S. Black population resides in the South, Black-White residential segregation has continued to decline and the region has become more urbanized, thereby making the South a prime region for Black locational attainment. Relying on confidential Decennial Census 1970-2000 and the American Community Survey 2006-2010 data, this study tests the spatial assimilation and place-stratification models in explaining locational attainment of Black non-South migrants—primary and return migrants—who are moving from the non-South into the South. Black non-South migrants to the South relocate to higher quality neighborhoods than the average Black resident in the South, which is in contrast to Whites who experience no similar added benefits from migrating to the South. In line with the spatial assimilation model, individual socioeconomic status and the metropolitan PMT sector explain locational attainment into middle-class neighborhoods for both White and Black migrants to the South. Yet, in support of the place-stratification perspective, racial residential segregation continues to act as a deterrent to Black access to middle-class neighborhoods while showing no effect for Whites. In regards to locational attainment into Black middle-class neighborhoods, the metropolitan size of the Black middle-class population along with individual socioeconomic indicators explain Black access into these neighborhoods. These findings support the minority culture of mobility model that posits that Black middle-class neighborhoods, when available, are attractive to the Black middle class. Paper 3: Black Locational Attainment into Black Middle-Class Neighborhoods in the Post-Civil Rights Era, 1970-2010 Using confidential Decennial Census 1970-2000 and American Community Survey 2006-2010 data, this research tests the spatial assimilation, place-stratification, and minority culture of mobility models to determine which model better explains the locational attainment of Blacks into Black middle-class neighborhoods. The study also compares the results of locational attainment for Blacks, as compared to Whites, living in metropolitan areas in the U.S. The present study makes three key findings. First, for Whites, there are distinct differences between locational attainment into White neighborhoods compared to White middle-class neighborhoods. White middle-class neighborhood as a more desirable neighborhood condition implies the necessary use of neighborhood indicators that intersect both race and class characteristics. Second, although individual socioeconomic status matters in locational attainment for both Black and White movers, metropolitan conditions better explain divergent locational attainment between the groups. Third, an increasing metropolitan Black middle-class is a strong determinant of Black access into Black middle-class neighborhoods. This study finds that neither the spatial assimilation model nor the place-stratification perspective can explain locational attainment of Black movers into Black middle-class neighborhoods. In lieu of these theoretical frameworks, the minority culture of mobility model provides the best fitting explanation for movement into Black middle-class neighborhoods.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Crowder, Kyle
  • Mouw, Ted
  • Rohe, William
  • Nguyen, Mai
  • Lester, T. William
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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