In-Migration to Remote Rural Regions: The Relative Impacts of Natural Amenities and Land Developability

Guangqing Chi, Mississippi State University
David Marcouiller, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Remote rural regions rich in natural amenities exist within distinctive developmental contexts and confront significant constraints to land availability for development in addition to economic growth and sociodemographic change. In this study, we compare the effects of natural amenities and land developability on in-migration by focusing on a remote rural subregion of the U.S. Lake States at the minor civil division level. Results suggest that public lands and lands available for development play substantial roles in attracting in-migrants to remote rural areas; their associations are stronger in remote rural areas than in other areas. Forests and wetlands are not appreciably associated with in-migration within this remote rural region. Forests and wetlands seem to become attractive to migrants only when they can be accessed through managed recreational areas. Policy implications focus on the reconceptualization of the roles played by natural amenities and land developability in development of remote rural regions.

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Presented in Session 49: Population and Environment