IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Migration and the regional redistribution of nonearnings income in the United States: metropolitan and nonmetropolitan perspectives from 1975 to 2000

Listed author(s):
  • Peter B Nelson
Registered author(s):

    Many advanced economies have an aging population that relies heavily on government pensions, social security, and privately held investment-based income. In the United States the geography of social security and investment income (collectively called nonearnings income) is uneven. Furthermore, the ways in which migration serves to redistribute such income across space remain unstudied. This paper highlights regions in the United States that are becoming increasingly attractive to nonearnings income through migration. Overall, there is a consistent Rustbelt-to-Sunbelt shift in nonearnings income due to migration. These income shifts, however, are quite distinct between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. Starting in the late 1980s, nonmetropolitan portions of the Rustbelt enjoyed net gains in nonearnings income through migration processes. Therefore, it appears that the migration systems which drew income away from the nonmetropolitan north during the 1970s are now shifting to some degree. Analysis further indicates that migration contributes to greater levels of economic disparity across space. Whereas flows of social security income are highly influenced by the aggregate level of migration, flows of investment income are more influenced by differentials in migrants’ per capita income levels. Regions such as the Plains are attracting migrants with relatively low per capita nonearnings income whereas the Rocky Mountain and New England regions are attracting individuals with high per capita income. Destinations such as the Rocky Mountains and New England are likely to enjoy significant economic benefits as new sources of income arrive which are tied to migration, but the Plains region is left with less-well-off populations, which pose significant social and economic problems in such sending regions. As the population in the United States and other advanced economies ages, these processes of nonearnings income migration become increasingly important in shaping local and regional economic conditions.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: abstract
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning A.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 9 (September)
    Pages: 1613-1636

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:37:y:2005:i:9:p:1613-1636
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:37:y:2005:i:9:p:1613-1636. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.