Data from multiple sources are analyzed to provide a picture of domestic migration patterns, characteristics of migrants, and effects of migration on poverty and human capital in the rural South during the 1990s. Migration trends in the 1990s were quite favorable for the rural South. Net migration was positive and substantial and represented a gain of people in their early career years including a disproportionate share of young families. The "brain drain" that characterized the 1980s has at least slowed, and possibly stopped. The comparative advantage of rural areas is increasingly found in their natural amenities and low population densities and corresponding attractiveness as places to live and recreate. At the same time, the positive effects of production factors that attract manufacturing enterprises are still very much in evidence in the nonmetro South. The most economically disadvantaged areas of the nonmetro South may not be benefiting as much as other areas from the rural migration rebound. Net inmigration to rural areas was widespread, but one-fourth of the counties in the nonmetro South continued to experience outmigration, although at a lower rate than in the 1980s.
Nord, Mark, and John Cromartie. 2000. "Migration in the Nonmetropolitan South." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 16(1): Article 7. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol16/iss1/7