How Ya Gonna Keep â€˜Em Down on the Farm: Which Land Grant Graduates Live in Rural Areas?
Out-migration of college-educated youth from rural areas of the United States is a persistent trend and a salient concern for rural development practitioners. Using a unique dataset compiled from a survey of alumni graduating from a major Midwestern Land Grant University between 1982 and 2006, we address four policy relevant questions pertaining to rural brain drain: which college graduates choose to live in rural areas, how do rural alumniâ€™s career goals differ from those of urban alumni, how do occupation and income differ across these groups and is interest in rural living increasing or decreasing over time? We find strong evidence of brain drain from rural areas roughly 75 percent of rural born alumni lived in urban areas at the time of survey. Rural alumni tend to be rural born, have majors in the College of Agriculture and work or start business in the agriculture-related industries.
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