The population of the United States is very mobile—ranging from international migrants coming into the country to residents moving within and among the states. This movement of people introduces changes in terms of social, economic, environmental, and political makeup of states and regions. Understanding the implications of these changes is an important element of population geography as well as citizenship education.


  • To describe patterns of internal migration in the United States, past and present
  • To evaluate implications of internal migration
  • To examine population movement at the state and local levels

Content Standards

AP Human Geography*: Unit II—Population Unit
C. Population movement
1. Push and pull factors
2. Major voluntary and involuntary migrations at different scales

Student Activities

Lesson Resources

"Domestic Migration Across Regions, Divisions, and States: 1995 to 2000" (U.S. Census Bureau)

"Geographic Mobility: 2002-2003" (U.S. Census Bureau)

How to Create Choropleth Maps (PDF: 35KB)

[Note: The page numbers provided refer to the pages of the publication, not the pdf file.]

Central Concepts: Push-Pull factors; population mobility

Case Locations: United States

This lesson plan is part of a teaching package, Making Population Real: New Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities.

* AP and the Advanced Placement Program are registered trademarks of the College Entrance Examination Board, which was not involved in the production of these lesson plans.