Family Can Keep Young Graduates Closer to Home

[imgbelt img=whomovesmap.jpg]Who moves? Young college graduates are more likely to move to a new state if they made good grades or attended top ranked colleges. Those who stay enjoy their spare time and want to live near family.


hit hard by outmigration. So the reasons for migration are of particular interest to those living in Yonder. Rural communities, therefore, should take note of a study coming out of the Small Business Administration that traces the movements of young college graduates. 

Chad Moutray, an SBA economist, gained access to a unique Department of Education survey of 7,000 young people who were college seniors during the 1992-93 academic year. The group was interviewed again in 1994, in 1997 and in 2003, ten years after their graduation year. The study allowed researchers to see what really happened to recent graduates — where they moved, what they earned, where they worked.

Before we get to the results, this is what researchers believe they know about who moves and why.

Those with a college education move more than those with a high school diploma, 77% versus 56%. College graduates are more likely to live in many states. People in the Midwest are less likely to move than those living in other regions. Those in the West move the most. (Think Route 66.) Movers say they are looking for economic opportunity while stayers say they want to be around their friends and family.[imgcontainer left] [img:whomovesfamily.jpg] [source]Pew Research Center

Pew Research Center found that people who moved to be near family were generally less educated, poorer and more politically conservative.

These trends are more pronounced among rural residents who go to college. One study found that rural college graduates are three times more likely to move to cities than are rural residents who haven’t been to college.

Migration does have economic consequences. Cities that have collected educated kids thrive while rural areas that lose their most-likely-to-succeed fall behind.

Okay, so what did the SBA find in their interviews of 7,000 recent college graduates? Here are the high points:

• Those with the highest grades moved the most. Students who made As and Bs in their major in college were more mobile than those who made more average grades. It doesn’t appear that what a person majored in makes much difference to mobility.

• It is true that the “best and brightest” are the most likely to migrate. Students who attend top research universities — or who pay higher tuition rates — are more likely to move out of their home state.