CARI: Center for Applied Rural Innovation


Date of this Version

March 2003


Published by the Center for Applied Rural Innovation, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Copyright © 2003 by R. Vogt, J. Allen, and S. Cordes.


Though many non-metropolitan counties in the United States experienced population gains in the 1990's, many of the non-metropolitan counties in the Great Plains continued to experience population declines. Thus, the reasons that people are moving need to be explored. This paper examines possible reasons by analyzing the relationship between community satisfaction and migration intentions of non-metropolitan Nebraskans. Data used for this analysis were from an annual survey mailed to 7,000 residents living in non-metropolitan counties in the state. The survey data were analyzed at two levels. First, demographic comparisons were made between those who planned to stay in their communities and those who planned to leave. Second, a multivariate model was developed to examine the independent effects of several different concepts on the decision to stay or leave. These concepts included community satisfaction, residential preference status, and the individual characteristics of the respondents. It was found that residential preference status, community social attributes, satisfaction with economic and environmental factors, household income and residential tenure all influenced migration intentions.