Large Scale, Spatial Structure in Personal Networks across the Western United States: Evidence from a Geocoded, Randomized Survey

Nicholas Nagle, University of Tennessee
Carter Butts, University of California, Irvine
John Hipp, University of California, Irvine
Adam Boessen, University of California, Irvine

We present results from a new, randomized household survey containing geocoded information about individuals and their personal networks. This survey elicits information for various types of surveys, and well as geographic coordinates for both the egos and alters. We report evidence of large scale, spatial structure across the Western United States. We use a combination of statistical, cartographic and visual techniques. Our findings provide empirical evidence that personal networks are regionally oriented, and that there are clear boundaries delineating regional networks. This regional orientation is broken however by the relative proximity of large cities, even across large geographic distances. These results largely corroborate existing knowledge, but this study is the first to do so at a both a large geographic scale as well as up and down the place hierarchy while using a randomized household survey.

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Presented in Session 64: Innovative Methods in Spatial Demography