Monday, May 19, 2014

Plains states get more male as young women who go to college are less likely to return for work

Rural migration is causing more young women than young men to leave rural areas in Kansas and Nebraska. The proportion of young men to young women in the two states is as high as 2 to 1 in some areas, according to study by University of Nebraska doctoral student Robert Shepard. The median increase was just under 7 percent, but numbers rose dramatically in smaller communities.

The study, published in April's Great Plains Research journal, found that "in places with 800 or fewer residents, the proportion of young men increased by an average of nearly 40 percent as people went from their teens to their 20s," according to a university news release. Using census data from 2000 to 2010, Shepard "found that more than half of 1,627 villages, rural townships, precincts and other locales with 800 or fewer people experienced an increased ratio of young men to young women."

Shepard concluded that more women than men left rural areas to attend college, and more of those female college graduates found employment in urban areas, while more male college graduates return to rural areas for employment. Shepard said: "Where some of the men can come back because there are a lot of traditionally male jobs like agriculture and industry to return to, many rural communities don't often provide the same opportunity to women. As long as that imbalance is there, it's going to limit the development or growth of that age group." (Read more)

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