Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 55–76 | Cite as

American Young Adults’ Rural-to-Urban Migration and Timing of Exits from Poverty Spells

  • Yoko MimuraEmail author
  • Teresa A. Mauldin


This study examined the timing of exit from poverty among rural young adults who migrated to urban areas in the United States, using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, with a focus on gender and marital status. Poverty spells that involved relocation to urban areas lasted longer than those that did not. Poverty exit rates upon relocation to urban areas declined each year the young adults remained in poverty, but the impact remaining in urban areas had on reduced poverty exit rates diminished when family characteristics, human capital, and labor market factors were controlled.


internal migration poverty young adults 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Borjas, G. J., Bronars, S. G., Trejo, S. J. 1992Assimilation and the earnings of young internal migrantsThe Review of Economics and Statistics74170175Google Scholar
  2. Briggs, V. M.,Jr. 1981Unemployment and underemploymentHawley, A. A.Mazie, S. M. eds. Nonmetropolitan America in transitionUniversity of North Carolina PressChapel Hill, NC359382Google Scholar
  3. Brown, D. L., Hirschl, T. A. 1995Household poverty in rural and metropolitan-core areas of the United StatesRural Sociology604466Google Scholar
  4. Center for Human Resource Research, The Ohio State University. (1997). NLSY79 users’ guide 1997: A guide to the 1979–1996 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth Data. Columbus, OH.Google Scholar
  5. Center for Human Resource Research, The Ohio State University. (1998). NLSY79 codebook supplement main file 1979–1998. Columbus, OH.Google Scholar
  6. Cook, C. C., Crull, S. R., Fletcher, C. N., Hinnant-Bernard, T., Peterson, J. 2002Meeting family housing needs: Experiences of rural women in the midst of welfare reformJournal of Family and Economic Issues23285316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Deaver, K. L., Hoppe, R. A. 1992Overview of the rural poor in the 1980sDuncan, C. M. eds. Rural poverty in AmericaAuburn HouseNew York, NY97109Google Scholar
  8. Fuguitt, G. V., Brown, D. L., Beale, C. L. 1989Rural and small town AmericaRussell Sage FoundationNew York, NYGoogle Scholar
  9. Gibbs, R. 1998Rural earnings edge up in the 1990sRural Conditions and Trends82225Google Scholar
  10. Gramlich, E. M., Heflin, C. M. 1998The spatial dimension: Should worker assistance be given to poor people or poor placesFreeman, R. B.Gottschalk, P. eds. Generating jobs: How to increase demand for less-skilled workersRussell Sage FoundationNew York, NY5471Google Scholar
  11. Greenwood, M. J. 1997Internal migration in developed countriesRosenzweig, M. R.Stark, O. eds. Handbook of population and family economicsElsevier Science G.VAmsterdam647720Vol 1BGoogle Scholar
  12. Harris, R. J. 1981Rewards of migration for income change and income attainment, 1968–1973Social Science Quarterly62275293Google Scholar
  13. Hoppe, R. A. 1991Rural poverty stabilizesRural Conditions and Trends21617Google Scholar
  14. Jensen, L., Tienda, M. 1989Nonmetropolitan minority families in the United States: Trends in racial and ethnic economic stratification, 1959–1986Rural Sociology54509532Google Scholar
  15. Kusmin, L. 1995Rural employment growth quickened in 1994, as unemployment continued to fallRural Conditions and Trends61417Google Scholar
  16. Lee, E. S. 1966A theory of migrationDemography34757Google Scholar
  17. Lichter, D. T. 1983Socioeconomic returns to migration among married womenSocial Forces62487503Google Scholar
  18. Lichter, D. T., Costanzo, J. A. 1987Nonmetropolitan underemployment and labor-force compositionRural Sociology59329344Google Scholar
  19. Lichter, D. T., Johnston, G. M., McLaughlin, D. K. 1994Changing linkages between work and poverty in rural AmericaRural Sociology59395415Google Scholar
  20. Lyson, T. A. 1991Real income of rural Black and Hispanic workers fell further behind in the 1980sRural Development Perspectives7711Google Scholar
  21. Marshall, R. 1974Rural workers in rural labor markets.Olympus Publishing CompanySalt Lake City, UTGoogle Scholar
  22. Maxwell, N. L. 1988Economic returns to migration: Marital status and gender differencesSocial Science Quarterly69108121Google Scholar
  23. McLaughlin, D. K., Perman, L. 1991Returns vs. endowments in the earnings attainment process for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan men and womenRural Sociology56339365Google Scholar
  24. Mimura, Y., & Mauldin, T. A. (2000, March). Duration in poverty among young adults in rural America. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, Los Angeles, CA.Google Scholar
  25. O’Hare, W. P. 1988The rise of poverty in rural America.Population Reference Bureau IncWashington, DCGoogle Scholar
  26. Pollack, S., Pendleton, S. 1986Nonmetro unemployment tied to major industry in regionRural Development Perspective33839Google Scholar
  27. Rural Sociological Society Task Force on Persistent Rural Poverty1993Persistent poverty in rural America.Westview PressBoulder, COGoogle Scholar
  28. Stevens, A. H. 1999Climbing out of poverty, falling back in: Measuring the persistence of poverty over multiple spellsThe Journal of Human Resources34557588Google Scholar
  29. Swaim, P., & Teixeira, R. A. (1991). Education and training policy: Skill upgrading options for the rural work force. In Education and rural economic development: strategies for the 1990s ERS (Staff Report No. AGES 9153). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture and Rural Economic Divisions, Economic Research Service. Google Scholar
  30. Tickamyer, A. R., Duncan, C. M. 1991Work and poverty in rural AmericaFlor, C.Christenson, J. eds. Rural policies for the 1990sWestview PressBoulder, CO102113Google Scholar
  31. Tienda, M. (1986). Industrial restructuring in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan labor markets: Implications for equity and efficiency. In Symposium on rural labor markets research issues (ERS Staff Report No. AGES860721). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economics and Rural Economics Division, Economics Research Service. Google Scholar
  32. Tigges, L. M., Tootle, D. M. 1990Labor supply, labor demand, and men’s underemployment in rural and urban labor marketsRural Sociology55328356Google Scholar
  33. U.S. Bureau of the Census. (2000a). Historical poverty tables, Table 8. Poverty of people, by residence: 1959 to 1999. Retrieved October 24, 2003, from Google Scholar
  34. U.S. Bureau of the Census. (2000b). Table 11. Educational attainment of people 18 years and over, by metropolitan and nonmetropolitan residence, age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin: March 2000. Retrieved October 24, 2003, from Google Scholar
  35. U.S. Bureau of the Census (2002). Table 8. Poverty of people, by residence: 1959 to 2000. Retrieved May 24, 2002, from Google Scholar
  36. Wenk, D. L., Hardesty, C. L. 1993The effects of rural-to-urban migration on the poverty status of youth in the 1980sRural Sociology587692Google Scholar
  37. Yankow, J. J. 1999The wage dynamics of internal migration within the United StatesEastern Economic Journal25265278Google Scholar
  38. Yellen, J. L. 1998Trends in income inequalityAuerbach, J.Belous, R. S. eds. The inequality paradox: Growth of income disparityNational Policy AssociationWashington, DC717Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Housing and Consumer EconomicsUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

Personalised recommendations