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Twentieth Century Migration to Baja California

Edgar W. Butler, James B. Pick


This study examines state migration patterns to Baja California for most of the twentieth century. Methods of analysis include computerized mapping and regression. Findings indicate that, in spite of very rapid population growth in Baja California, the geographic distribution for origin states of migration to Baja remained consistent over eighty years of censuses from 1900 to 1980. Furthermore, there is strong consistency in the determinants of migration over the eighty years.

There is ample indication that the intervening distance/obstacles hypothesis is a major factor in explaining migration patterns in Mexico, especially to the border region. Also, an economic opportunity model of migration explains at least part of the two major, contrasting migration patterns that have historically occurred in Mexico during this century, one to the Federal District and the other to the U.S. borderlands area, especially Baja California (for a contrasting view, see Davis 1981). This article examines the concepts of intervening distance/obstacles as opposed to economic opportunities influences upon migration (Fukurai et al. 1987a, Greenwood et al. 1981, King 1978, Lowly 1966, Rogers 1968, Whetten and Burnight 1956, Zipf 1946).

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229