Emerging Patterns of Population Redistribution and Migration in Appalachia

Author(s): Daniel T. Lichter, Jillian Garratt, Mary L. Marshall, and Michael Cardella
Author Organization(s): Ohio State University

This report examines recent changes in patterns of Appalachian population change and migration. First, it analyzes the patterns of migration between Appalachia and the rest of the nation during the 1990s and early 2000s. Is Appalachia losing population in its exchange of people, including its most educated and skilled (the so-called “best and brightest”), with other regions of the United States? Second, it evaluates geographic disparities in flows of population within Appalachia, including migration flows between Appalachian metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties classified according to the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) distress code. Third, it examines patterns of educational selectivity among inter-county migrants–i.e., whether some kinds of Appalachian counties have lost their young and most highly educated people while other people have become essentially ghettoized in place. Fourth, it documents some of the dominant migration streams within Appalachia and between Appalachia and other regions by using the 2000 county-to-county migration file from the 2000 Census.