Exodus from the California Core: Using demographic effectiveness and migration impact measures to examine population redistribution within the Western United States

Christopher J. Henrie, David A. Plane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Increasingly since the 1960s and 1970s, population migration trends within the United States have been driven by the development of a second western population core. The burgeoning concentration of population along the Pacific Coast has fueled the emergence of a significant interconnected system of western metropolitan areas that increasingly rivals the primacy of the long-established northeastern core. During the 1990s the dispersal of population downward within the western urban hierarchy supplanted a much diminished Frostbelt-to-Sunbelt trend to become the most salient aspect of national population redistribution. The Southern California and Bay Area conurbations are serving as the primary pivots fueling the extension of a western urban subsystem. In this study we use county-level IRS matched tax return data and the newly defined Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) units to explore the recent (1995-2000) flows of U.S. internal migrants within the functional urban system of the western United States. We present maps based on demographic effectiveness and on a new migration impact measure to examine and illustrate the evolving spatial patterns characteristic of current population redistribution across the West.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-64
Number of pages22
JournalPopulation Research and Policy Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008



  • Demographic effectiveness
  • Inward population redistribution
  • Migration impact
  • Urban hierarchy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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