The effect of climate on migration: United States, 1995-2000

Li Zhang, Virginia Commonwealth University
David Gotcher, Abilene Christian University
Yuan Gu, Macro International Inc.

This paper examines whether climate is an influential factor in internal migration. We undertake an aggregate-based analysis of the effect of climate on migration. We examine this relationship among the fifty states of the United States. We focus attention on the varying effects of climate on three migration measures for the 1995-2000 time period, namely, in-migration, out-migration, and net migration. We next evaluate the effect of climate on migration in the context of a broad application of human ecology. Here climate, a manifestation of the physical environment, is measured with three major independent variables; the other ecological predictors pertaining to organization, population, technology, and the social environment are used as controls. This enables us to examine the effects of climate on migration in the context of competing ecological hypotheses.

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Presented in Session 170: Interrelations between population and climate change