Abstract

Data from a 1977 survey of metropolitan and nonmetropolitan origin households migrating to 75 high net inmigration counties of the Midwest are examined to consider the motivational basis for the inmigration component of post-1970 non metropolitan migration trends. Findings suggest that the major stated motivations for leaving places of origin, especially among those from metropolitan areas, are “quality of life” considerations. About a fourth of the metropolitan origin migrants’ and half of the non metropolitan origin migrants’ reasons are job-related. Anti-urban push and pro-rural pull responses are prevalent among migrants from metropolitan areas. Subsequent analysis of reasons for leaving metropolitan residences suggests consistency with other objective variables. Among households with a working-age head, those leaving for “quality of life” reasons came disproportionately from the largest metropolitan centers and went to the smallest towns. Those moving for non-employment reasons are not more likely to have taken an initial income loss, though they are less likely to experience immediate income gains.

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