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Show me …. the door: Missouri’s Journey to an Outmigration State

Authors: Matthew Foulkes*, University of Missouri - Columbia, James Kaemmerer , University of Missouri - Columbia
Topics: Migration, Population Geography, United States
Keywords: Migration, Population loss, Missouri
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Reversing a decade long trend of positive net migration after the millennium, the state of Missouri has experienced zero or negative net migration rates since the great recession ended in 2010, leading to slowed population growth after a promising first decade of the new millennium. Population decline has coincided with economic stagnation, causing revenue shortages and tough policy choices at the state level. While the Midwest has experienced out-migration for decades, few states have experienced a migration reversal like Missouri. Yet little is known regarding the spatial patterns, demographic composition, or underlying reasons for MO’s migration-related population losses. This paper utilizes Census county-to-county migration data and Public Use Microdata from the American Community Survey to uncover how Missouri’s migration patterns have changed from before the recession to afterwards. The analysis also explores the demographic characteristics of out-migrants from MO post recession. The findings demonstrate how migration regimes can change quickly for states, and provides insight into the changing migration structures in the Midwest.

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