Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Uncovers 'De-urbanization' Of America

Date:
September 25, 2009
Source:
University of Kansas
Summary:
More than any other populace on Earth, Americans are on the move. Because of factors such as employment, climate or retirement, 14 percent of the U.S. population bounces from place to place every year. Now, one researcher has made a vital study of how a population in perpetual motion impacts local tax bases and economies around the nation.

More than any other populace on Earth, Americans are on the move. Because of factors such as employment, climate or retirement, 14 percent of the U.S. population bounces from place to place every year.

Now, one researcher at the University of Kansas has made a vital study of how a population in perpetual motion impacts local tax bases and economies around the nation.

Art Hall, executive director of the Center for Applied Economics at the KU School of Business, said he uncovered three key themes to American population shifts by looking at annual data collected by the Internal Revenue Service on county-to-county migration:

He found that:

  • Populations are relocating to coastal areas (with the major exception that inhabitants for the first time are taking flight from California's prohibitively priced seaboard)
  • People are moving out from major metropolises to smaller cities
  • The general migration trend in the U.S. now is eastward rather than westward

"California has been losing people for at least a decade," Hall said. "Two patterns of migration are under way in California. People are leaving the coast and moving to the Northern interior. When they leave, they tend to go places like Arizona and Nevada. So it's not a far move. And they also are going up north to Seattle and Portland. Part of the answer there is that it's just very expensive to live on the California coast."

Hall said that income levels on the California coastline have remained consistent, despite the population loss.

"Even though people are moving, income is still flowing to the California coast," said Hall. "Higher-income people are able to afford it and working people are not."

Hall said that his research uncovered a trend of "de-urbanization" across America.

"People are moving away from the major cities to smaller cities — cities of 1 million to 2 million — and away from cities of 4 million-plus," he said. "In a sense, the exurbs are what's happening. What you'll see is that folks are moving out of the city cores into the periphery. They're willing to move away from the big cities into the medium-sized metropolitan areas."

According to Hall, people are motivated to move by a combination of reasons. He said they are influenced in their decisions by factors like climate, jobs and tax rates. Also, he found that younger people are more inclined to move, along with Americans who have reached retirement age.

"Once you get families there's a lot more stability," said Hall. "That stability generates a disinclination to move, but they're willing to commute longer distances. But even then, there's a lot of dynamism around metro areas even if they're not moving across the country. In the big picture, it's the first time in U.S. history that the general migration pattern is eastward rather than westward."

But how does all of this movement of people challenge regional governments that depend on a stable base of taxpayers to fund schools, roads, police and other vital civic services?

"I don't necessarily buy the notion that if you're not growing, you're dying," Hall said. "But there is a question of value and what are you willing to embrace in terms of a balanced quality-of-life."

Hall said that many municipalities face stark policy choices in terms of the kinds of employers that they are willing to accommodate.

"Every community wants to be a healthy, nice place to live with good jobs," the KU researcher said. "But you can't overcome the dynamism of people. Policy as a tool can only go so far. Everyone is chasing the same people to move and the same businesses to create jobs. But having a balanced approach to defining good government services, to defining reasonable tax rates, to not being biased against the types of business that come to your community, that is one of the best perspectives in terms of trying to nurture community growth."

Conversely, Hall said that a new influx of people could put stress on a community's ability to provide services.

"If places are growing too fast, and it's not well thought through, that can put a strain on finances," he said. "However, generally speaking, from a community perspective, in-migration is a good thing."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Kansas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Kansas. "Study Uncovers 'De-urbanization' Of America." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090924093553.htm>.
University of Kansas. (2009, September 25). Study Uncovers 'De-urbanization' Of America. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090924093553.htm
University of Kansas. "Study Uncovers 'De-urbanization' Of America." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090924093553.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bank of America's $17 Bln Settlement

Bank of America's $17 Bln Settlement

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 21, 2014) Bank of America's settlement is by far the largest amount paid by big banks facing mortgage securities probes. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Researchers found the scanners could be duped simply by placing a weapon off to the side of the body or encasing it under a plastic shield. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins