Measuring spatial focusing in a migration system

David Plane, Gordon F. Mulligan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


Equality indexes used in other geographical contexts may be used to gauge the degree of spatial focusing in an entire migration system or within the gross in- and out-migration fields of specific-regions. They provide useful indicators of overall shifts in the patterns of interregional migration and can help give insight into the population redistributive roles played by specific regions. Perhaps the most common equality index used to measure income distribution is the Gini coefficient, yet it appears almost never to have been applied in migration research. In this paper we set forth a variety of Gini indexes to be used for different migration analyses and illustrate their application with recent data on U.S. interstate movements. We argue that the Gini index provides some singularly useful insights that differ from those afforded by other measures more commonly found to date in the migration analyst's toolkit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-262
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Plane, D., & Mulligan, G. F. (1997). Measuring spatial focusing in a migration system. Demography, 34(2), 251-262.