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Migration status, 5 years

Codes and Frequencies

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MIGRATE5 indicates whether the respondent had changed residence in the past five years. Those who reported that they were living in the same house as five years ago were considered non-movers and were asked no further questions about migration over the past five years. Movers were asked about the city/town/post office, county/parish, and state, and/or the U.S. territory or foreign country where they resided five years ago.

The category "Same house" includes both persons who did not move since the reference date (March 1 five years ago) and those who had moved and then returned to their earlier residence. Movers are subdivided into the following categories: those who had moved within the same county; those who had crossed county lines but stayed in the same state; those who had resided in a different state; and those who had migrated from abroad.

Information about the state where movers were living five years ago is available in the MIGSTA5 variable for 1985, 1995, and 2005. The MIGRATE1 variable covers changes in residence since March 1 one year ago.


This variable is completely comparable between 1980 and 1985 and between 1995 and 2005. Beginning in 1995, the categories were much more simplified.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

The IPUMS-CPS variable MIGRATE5 is completely comparable to the MIGRATE5 variable for the 1960 and 1980 censuses in IPUMS-USA. The 1970, 1990, and 2000 censuses also collected information about residence changes relative to a five-year reference date, but they included somewhat less information. Along with the codes specified above, the 1970 census included "place not reported" and "Same state (migration status within state unknown)." The 1990 census divided the population into movers and nonmovers, while the 2000 census added a third category for those who migrated from abroad. Since there is a same third category in the CPS 1995 and 2005, IPUMS-CPS variable MIGRATE5 in 1995 and 2000 is comparable to the IPUMS-USA variable in 2000.


  • Persons age 5+.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1980 - - X - - - - - - - - -
1985 - - X - - - - - - - - -
1995 - - X - - - - - - - - -
2005 - - X - - - - - - - - -
2015 - - X - - - - - - - - -


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