, Volume 76, Issue 4, pp 303-322

First online:

Amenity migration: diverse conceptualizations of drivers, socioeconomic dimensions, and emerging challenges

  • Hannah GosnellAffiliated withOregon State University Email author 
  • , Jesse AbramsAffiliated withOregon State University

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Rural communities throughout the postindustrial world are in the midst of a significant transition, sometimes referred to as rural restructuring, as traditional land uses, economic activities, and social arrangements transition to those associated with “post-productivist” or “multifunctional” landscapes. Amenity migration, the movement of people based on the draw of natural and/or cultural amenities, can be thought of as both driver and implication of this transition, resulting in significant changes in the ownership, use, and governance of rural lands, as well as in the composition and socioeconomic dynamics of rural communities. In concert with other social, economic and political processes, amenity migration is contributing to the fundamental transformation of rural communities throughout the world. This paper presents a review of the social science literature related to the concept of amenity migration, focusing on the ways in which it has been conceptualized, theorized, and documented by different communities of scholars. We then profile and summarize diverse perspectives on drivers and socioeconomic impacts, highlighting emerging challenges and opportunities related to this type of migration occurring at multiple scales and in multiple sites. The paper also identifies and discusses particular areas where further research is needed.


Amenity migration Counterurbanization Rural restructuring Post-productivist transition