, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 247-277

The Association Between Environmental Risk and Internal Migration Flows

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Over the past several decades, the environmental awareness and concern of the American public has greatly increased. This concern is reflected, for example, in public opinion polls, participation in curbside recycling programs and community mobilization against the siting of environmentally-hazardous facilities. This study examines the possibility that such concern is also reflected by internal migration patterns. More specifically, this research considers the relationship between county-level environmental characteristics and in- and outmigration streams. The results suggest that counties with environmental hazards such as air and water pollution, hazardous waste and Superfund sites do not lose residents at greater rates than areas without such hazards. However, areas with such risks gain relatively fewer new residents.