The Visibility of Migrants and the Permanence of Migrations: A Multistate Analysis of Black In-Migration to Southern Counties, 1985-1990

Jack DeWaard, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Katherine J. Curtis, University of Wisconsin at Madison

The in-migration of blacks to counties in the American South from 1985-1990 is a potentially important compositional factor contributing to the visibility, or proportionate concentration, of blacks in these counties over this period. Theoretical and empirical work has made extensive use of the visibility concept in accounts of racial inequality; however, the implications of another feature of migration for racial inequality are not understood, namely the turnover inherent in flows and the corresponding permanence of migrations. We provide a descriptive account of county-level trends in black in-migration to the South from 1985-1990. For Southern counties, we distinguish the contribution made by black in-migrants to the visibility of blacks from the total time lived by these migrants on average, thereby detailing counties’ exposure to black in-migrants. Our estimates of exposure can be used with measures of visibility to elaborate theories of black-white racial inequality.

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Presented in Poster Session 2