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The New Great Migration: Black Americans' Return to the South, 1965-2000

The Great Migration of African-Americans northwards throughout most of the 20th century to major urban centers was one of the most well-documented internal migrations in United States history. Seeking a better life, millions of African-Americans made their way north in an attempt to escape the oppressive legal restrictions and rural poverty that were mainstays of their everyday existence. However, as this 17-page report from the Brookings Institution authored by William Frey indicates, it seems this migration trend may be reversing, as African-Americans are moving back to the American South. Analyzing migration data from the past four decennial censuses at regional, state, and metropolitan-area levels indicate that the South scored net gains of black migrants from all three of the other regions of the U.S. during the late 1990s, reversing a 35 year trend. Additional findings included in the data indicates that college-educated individuals lead the new migration into the South (particularly in states such as Georgia and Maryland) and that California lost more black migrants then it gained during the late 1990s.
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