Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2003


Published in Great Plains Research 13 (Spring 2003): 63-74. Copyright © 2003 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Used by permission.


Though many nonmetropolitan counties in the United States experienced population gains in the 1990s, many of the nonmetropolitan 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 nonmetropolitan Nebraskans. Data used for this analysis were from an annual survey mailed to 6,500 residents living in nonmetropolitan 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 int1uenced migration intentions.