Are small communities at risk of population loss?
Small communities almost universally worry about out-migration and the negative effects of out-migration on community viability. Using Oregon community-level data and applying the threshold estimation method of Hansen (Econometrica 68(3):575–603, 2000 ), we are able to identify population thresholds that distinguish small communities from their larger counterparts based on significant structural differences in factors affecting net migration. Our results suggest that smaller communities are more at risk of population decline than larger ones. After controlling for spatial spillovers from neighboring communities, the average net migration rate is 3 % in the larger communities (roughly above 5,000 population), 2 % in the mid-sized communities (roughly between 1,250 and 5,000) and $$-3$$ % in the smallest communities (roughly less than 1,250). Other things equal, geographic isolation from large cities and low wage rates provide some protection from net out-migration for the smallest communities, but even for the smallest places, a larger population base lowers the risk of net out-migration. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013
Volume (Year): 51 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
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