Rural Destinations: Gentrified, or Satellites in the Global Economy?

Shaun Golding, Bowdoin College

In this paper, I examine inequality in rural destination communities by accounting for in-migrants’ origins in the global economy. Using a database of inter-county migration flows and a ranking of US cities' global economic integration, I explore how migration flows from major economic centers contributed to development in 50 rural satellite counties where the most globally connected urban migrants settled in the highest proportions between 1995 and 2000. By relating inequality across and within rural counties to a hierarchical network of migration flows, the paper describes how widening divisions at the local level relate to the society-wide prevalence of inequality. I argue that this emphasis on migration illuminates an important dimension of difference in modern rural places, offering insight for effectively targeting rural policy.

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Presented in Poster Session 3