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Human Capital and Population Growth in Nonmetropolitan U.S. Counties

  • John V. Winters

    (University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA)

Researchers have consistently shown that the stock of human capital in an area, measured as the share of the adult population with a college degree, is a strong predictor of future population growth. This article examines this relationship for U.S. nonmetropolitan counties and posits that student migration for higher education may play an important role. Students often move to an area for college and then stay in the area after their education is complete, causing the area’s educated population to grow. Empirical evidence suggests that student migration explains nearly all the greater in-migration to highly educated nonmetropolitan counties. Implications for nonmetropolitan brain drain are discussed.

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Article provided by in its journal Economic Development Quarterly.

Volume (Year): 25 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 353-365

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Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:25:y:2011:i:4:p:353-365
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