Dynamics of Internal Migration Determinants for American Jews, 1985–1990 and 1995–2000

  • Uzi Rebhun
  • Sidney Goldstein


This paper examines how individual characteristics and structural factors have changed in determining Jewish internal migration in the U.S. between 1985–1990 and 1995–2000. Multinomial logistic regression analysis of the 1990 and 2000 National Jewish Population Surveys shows that socio-demographic characteristics have both increased their power to explain variation in 5-year migration and have become more similar for intra- and interstate migration. Further analysis added migration status at the beginning-of-period, state context of residence characteristics, and ethnic concentration to the explanatory variables. Results from logistic regression analysis, which was limited to interstate mobility, were very much in accordance with the observations of the single-level analysis of the socio-demographic variables. Additional findings suggest that previous mobility increases subsequent interstate migration; that per capita income does not have a meaningful effect on migration; that unemployment encourages migration (yet later this relationship turned negative); and that warm climate deters migration. The importance of ethnic concentration has weakened over time albeit maintained statistically significant. Finally, when the two surveys were integrated into one data set, “time” enhances the tendency of Jews to migrate. The results are discussed in the context of ethnic diversity in contemporary America.


Internal migration Jews Logistic regression Multinomial logistic regression United States 



An earlier version of this paper was presented, as a poster, at the 2007 annual meeting of the Population Association of America, held in New York. The authors wish to thank Dalia Sagi for her assistance in data analysis, and Judith Even for editorial assistance both from the Division of Jewish Demography and Statistics, The A. Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We are also grateful to Alice Goldstein for kindly reading earlier drafts of this article and making valuable suggestions. The comments on the article received from two anonymous referees of PRPR were especially helpful. Responsibility for the contents of this article rests solely with the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Jewish Demography and Statistics, The A. Harman Institute of Contemporary JewryThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Population Studies and Training CenterBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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