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Katrina survivor destinations map Farmer and sons walking through a dust storm, Cimarron County, OK, 1936. (Library of Congress)

Dust Bowl migration, 1930-1940

By BRAD EDMONDSON
ePodunk


The actual "dust bowl" was a sparsely populated area of dryland wheat farms stretching from the Kansas-Colorado border (see Sharon Springs) to the Texas Panhandle (see Dalhart). Fewer than 16,000 farmers from that region went to California during the 1930s, but its huge dust storms gave the mass migration a name.

MASS MIGRATIONS
  Hurricane Katrina
  Hurricane Rita map
  Civil War
  1927 Mississippi River flood
  Dust Bowl migration
  San Francisco earthquake  
  Mississauga chlorine spill
  Japanese internment camps
  Chicago fire


Between 315,000 and 400,000 residents of Oklahoma and other Plains states moved west during the 1930s due to the Great Depression and a severe regional drought. These crises caused a temporary acceleration of a steadier, larger population shift.

Between 1910 and 1950, nearly four million who were born in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri lived outside that region: 1,367,720 of them lived in California, and concentrations also went to Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and New Mexico. The vast majority of Dust Bowl migrants stayed on the West Coast permanently.

Date: Sept. 15, 2005

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