Saturday, June 15, 2019

Internal Migration in the USA


More people moved out of Los Angeles County than left any other county in the USA between 2015 and 2016. However more people also moved into Los Angeles County than moved into any other county in the country. Esri has mapped out the top twenty counties with the highest outbound and inbound migrations between 2015 and 2016. A lot of counties, like Los Angeles County, appear in the top twenty counties for both outbound and inbound migration. One reason for this is that many of the counties with the highest levels of migration are the most populated counties.

Esri has used data from the IRS to map internal migration in the USA. The Internal Revenue Service records when Americans move address every time they file taxes in a new state. Esri has used this data to map the movements between states and between counties between 2015-2016.

Using the IRS data Esri has created two maps for each state, showing inbound and outbound migration. These maps show which other states people are moving to when they leave a state and which states people are moving from into each U.S. state. Esri has also used the IRS data to show the twenty counties in the country with the biggest outbound migration (and which counties people moved to) and the twenty counties with the biggest inbound migration (and which counties they moved from).

You can view Esri's U.S. internal migration maps either on the Where are Americans Moving Story Map or on the Visualizing Population Migration blog post. Both feature the same maps which use Esri's Distributive Flow Lines tool to create the migration flow visualizations.


You can also view state-to-state migration flows in the United States, from 2009-2013, on the US Migration Flow Map. This map shows that Texas was the most popular destination for Californians moving out of the Golden State during these years. The love that Californians have for Texas was   reciprocated, as California was the most popular destination for Texans moving out of state.

This interactive map by Oregon State University allows you to see which states are the most popular destinations for Americans moving house. The US Migration Flow Map uses flow lines to visualize the numbers of people moving between different states in the USA from 2009-2013. The map includes options to see which states have the biggest exchanges of citizens and to view the most popular state destinations for each individual state.


You can see where people move to and from at the city level in the American Migration interactive map. American Migration visualizes where people moved to and from in America from 2011-2015.

If you hover over a city on the map you can see all the other cities where people moved to, according to the Census Bureau's 2011-2015 American Community Survey. The map uses the Metro to Metro Migration Flows from the survey, which asks respondents if they've moved in the last year where they lived one year ago. As well as the flow-lines on the map, which show all the cities people have moved to, a top 5 list shows the most popular destinations for people moving from the selected city.

Creating Flowmaps

If you are want to create your own flowmaps to visualize movement then you might be interested in Sarah Bellum's Canvas Flowmap Layer, a popular ArcGIS JavaScript API library, which allows you to map objects flowing from one location to another.

The Flowmap-Layer is also now available as a custom map layer for the Leaflet JavaScript mapping library. Like the original ArcGIS flowmap layer Leaflet.Canvas-Flowmap-Layer uses Bezier curves to visualize the movement of objects from one location to another on an interactive map.

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