Architecture, College of


Date of this Version

Spring 5-1-2020

Document Type



Mariah Tobin. “Migratory Patterns And How They Affect They Relocation of the Age Cohort 20 To 40 Into Nonmetropolitan Communities of Nebraska.” Masters, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2020.


A Design Thesis Presented to the Faculty of The College of Architecture at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Architecture, Major: Architecture, For the Degree of Master of Community and Regional Planning, Major: Community and Regional Planning Under the Supervision of Professors: Steve Hardy Yunwoo Nam Dan Piatkowski Zac Porter. Lincoln, NE: May 2020

Copyright 2020 Mariah J. Tobin


Nebraska’s nonmetropolitan communities have been rapidly declining in population. However, recent research has shown an uncharacteristic increase in the population of those age 20 to 40. The survival of nonmetropolitan communities is crucial to the societal ecosystem of America. The people moving into these nonmetropolitan areas believe in rural; they are “Rural by Choice”.

If Nebraska is to keep this way of life alive and thriving, small towns must re-evaluate their communities and strive to meet the demands of today’s globally connected world and the expectations of these younger generations. People are moving into nonmetropolitan areas in search of communities optimal to their “new rural lifestyle”. The purpose of this guidebook is to investigate the factors causing migration of newcomers or migration of returnees, specifically those in the age cohort of 20 to 40 years old, within the nonmetropolitan communities in Nebraska.

An analysis of case studies will be used to describe how these communities rank in the migration factors and how they compare to the statistical baseline set by precedent literature. Quantitative and qualitative data on these nonmetropolitan Nebraska towns will be collected through various data sources, personal interviews, and surveys.

Under the Supervision of Professors: Steve Hardy, Yunwoo Nam, Dan Piatkowski, Zac Porter