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Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Big Cities and the Great Migrations of Black, White, and Latinx Southerners

by James Gregory

An estimated 28 million Black, White, Latino, Asian, and Native American southerners left the region in the 20th century, joining in the great migrations we call the Southern Diaspora. Many, especially Black migrants, settled in the big cities of the North and West. This page accompanies the main pages of the Southern Diaspora section. These interactive maps and charts show decade by decade the number of southerners living in northern and western metropolitan areas (central cities and surrounding country). Filter by racial categories. The maps are hosted by Tableau Public. If slow, refresh the page.  

Move between three maps by selecting tabs below

Source: These maps are based on research published in James N. Gregory, The Southern Diaspora: How the Great Migrations of Black and White Southerners Transformed America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005). The U.S. Census data is from the Minnesota Population Center's IPUMS USA: Steven Ruggles, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Josiah Grover, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 6.0 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2015, the following samples: 1900 1%, 1910 1%, 1920 1%, 1930 1%, 1940 1%, 1950 1%, 1960 1%, 1970 1% Metro FM1, 1980 1% Metro, 1990 1%, 2000 1%.

Maps and calculations: James Gregory.