Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology


Michael B. Toney


Eric Reither


The purposes of this study are to examine migration disparities in primary, onward, and return migration by Hispanics, non-Hispanic black, and non-Hispanic white and to inspect the differences among the various types of migration. In addition, this study explores explanations of the migration disparities. These have been rarely studied because of a lack of proper migration data. This research employs the National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY79) for a logistic regression of primary migration and for a hierarchical generalized linear model (HGLM) of the two types of repeat migration, namely onward and return. The results demonstrate that whites are more likely to make primary and onward migrations compared to blacks and Hispanics. But, with return migration, significant differences between whites and other minorities are not found. With respect to the contributors or explanations, this study indicates that the racial/ethnic migration disparities are not explained by socioeconomic status as opposed to explanations by human capital perspectives. The racial/ethnic disparities in migrations seem to be produced by discrimination and an unequal distribution of opportunities. Return migration presents several interesting different patterns compared with the other type migrations, including the effects of age and educational attainment. For return migration, old and less educated individuals have higher odds, showing reversed pattern of total, primary, and onward migration. The findings seem to indicate that different characteristics are involved in different types of migration.