Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Committee Chair(s)

E. Helen Berry


E. Helen Berry


Mike Toney


Reed Geertsen


David Lancy


Julie Gast


The primary objective of this study is to examine U.S. repeat migration for blacks, Hispanics, and whites. It investigates the relationships and patterns of these different racial/ethnic groups utilizing the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79). Repeat migration within and across categories of individual characteristics for blacks, Hispanics, and whites, is compared in order to determine if there are differences in the overall rates of repeat migration for these groups, once other factors are controlled.

To do this several statistical procedures are utilized, and the results of selected descriptive and logistic analyses are presented. The descriptive statistics control for race/ethnicity and examine patterns within the groups; these findings display important relationships to onward and return migration. The inferential statistical method employed is logistic regression for the sample as a whole, which examines the effects across the groups, and the direction of migration.

Where past research has not investigated the complexities of repeat migration in combination with race/ethnicity, there are several notable results from this study. Specifically, this research finds that in terms of onward migration, whites are significantly more likely to move onward than are blacks or Hispanics even after controlling for key socioeconomic factors. Changes in marital status are significantly related to migration, and to the direction of repeat migration; individuals who change from "single to married" are likely to be onward migrants, whereas those who change from "married to single" are likely to be return migrants. This study finds there are differences in rates of return migration by level of education for racial/ethnic groups. Moreover, the relationship between onward migration and employment status is different for Hispanics than blacks and whites.



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