Boom or Bust? Population Dynamics in Natural Resource-Dependent Counties

  • Richelle WinklerEmail author
  • Cheng Cheng
  • Shaun Golding
Part of the International Handbooks of Population book series (IHOP, volume 3)


This chapter evaluates how migration streams by age, educational attainment, household income, and labor force status shape population composition and community assets in rural natural-resource-dependent US counties. Rural areas (and especially those dependent on natural resources) have long experienced out-migration of young adults, more educated people, and higher income households with serious implications for community sustainability. However, amenity destination places represent a different kind of natural resource dependence with correspondingly distinct migration patterns that have become more common around the world. In contrast to farming and mining dependent counties, counties dependent on serving as an amenity destination experience in-migration and attract high-income households, highly educated individuals, and older adults. Yet, we find that even amenity destinations experience net out-migration of young adults, remarkable levels of population turnover, and little gain in the employed population. These conditions could jeopardize the efficacy of local institutions (especially schools), curtail economic development, increase community ambivalence, and strain community services. In sum, migration flows in amenity destinations increase local financial capital but yield mixed outcomes for human and social capitals, bringing potential for community capital accumulation but introducing challenges as well.


Social Capital Financial Capital Migration Flow Bonding Social Capital Labor Force Status 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA
  2. 2.Applied Population Laboratory, Department of Community and Environmental SociologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Community and Environmental SociologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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