Thursday, March 19, 2009

Migration to exurbs and amenity-rich rural areas slows with the economy

Read Kenneth Johnson's report for the Carsey Institute here. An excerpt focusing on the consequences for rural places follows:
The changing structure of domestic migration has had its most dramatic impact on traditionally fast growing rural areas. Traditionally, the fastest growing rural areas are:
  • those just beyond the fringe of metro areas--where people could live in rural areas but still have access to cities
  • recreational and high amenity areas
  • retirement destination counties
All three of these county types experienced much slower migration gains in 2008.
Johnson notes that the population situation was more stable in rural counties that have typically grown slowly, such as those dominated economically by farming or mining. Outmigration from these counties slowed in 2008. Rural manufacturing counties suffered population loss in 2008, presumably due to the U.S. economic slowdown and the continuing flow of manufacturing jobs to overseas locations.

Read coverage of the Johnson report in the Wall Street Journal here and in USA Today here.

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