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Open-File Report 2008–1212

Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center

Potential Effects of a Scenario Earthquake on the Economy of Southern California: Baseline County-Level Migration Characteristics and Trends 1995–2000 and 2001–2010

By Benson C. Sherrouse and David J. Hester


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The Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project (MHDP) is a collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and various partners from the public and private sectors and academia, meant to improve Southern California's resiliency to natural hazards. In support of the MHDP objectives, the ShakeOut Scenario was developed. It describes a magnitude 7.8 earthquake along the southernmost 300 kilometers (200 miles) of the San Andreas Fault, identified by geoscientists as a plausible event that will cause moderate to strong shaking over much of the eight-county (Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura) Southern California region. This report uses historical, estimated, and projected population data from several Federal and State data sources to estimate baseline characteristics and trends of the region's population migration (that is, changes in a person's place of residence over time). The analysis characterizes migration by various demographic, economic, family, and household variables for the period 1995–2000. It also uses existing estimates (beginning in 2001) of the three components of population change—births, deaths, and migration—to extrapolate near-term projections of county-level migration trends through 2010. The 2010 date was chosen to provide baseline projections corresponding to a two-year recovery period following the November 2008 date that was selected for the occurrence of the ShakeOut Scenario earthquake. The baseline characteristics and projections shall assist with evaluating the effects of inflow and outflow migration trends for alternative futures in which the simulated M7.8 earthquake either does or does not occur and the impact of the event on housing and jobs, as well as community composition and regional economy changes based on dispersion of intellectual, physical, economic, and cultural capital.

Version 1.0

Posted September 2008

  • Downloads Directory
    Appendix. Descriptions and Names of Supplementary Files Containing Additional Population Migration Characteristics in PDF or XLS formats.

For additional information contact:
Science Center Chief,
USGS Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center
Box 25046, Mail Stop 516
Denver, CO 80225

Or visit the USGS Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center Web site

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Suggested citation:

Sherrouse, Benson C., and Hester, David J., 2008, Potential effects of a scenario earthquake on the economy of Southern California—Baseline county-level migration characteristics and trends 1995–2000 and 2001–2010: U.S. Geolgical Survey Open-File Report 2008–1212, 10 p.



Data Sources


Baseline Migration Characteristics and Trends



Appendix. Description of Names of Supplementary Files Containing Additional Population Migration Characterics

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