Simultaneous US brain drains. Rural to city. From US back to India and China

The rural to cities brain drain is made worse by the propensity of small rural towns to encourage gifted people to leave and doing little to encourage them to stay.

Skilled immigrants are going back to India and China because job prospects there are better and because of our onerous immigration and residency restrictions.

  • DJ

    The rural brain drain started with the industrial revolution, some 130 years ago. But in my area, it has reversed: St. George, just south of us is up tenfold over the past four decades, from 7K to 70K. Iron County is up from 11K to 44K over the same period. Cedar City has grown almost 40% since 2000.

    Almost all of these are (like my wife and I) escapees from Los Angeles, Las Vegas or Salt Lake City. In Washington County, they’re largely retired, but up here they’re commuting, telecommuting, or starting new careers and businesses.

    Here’s another indicator: The percentage of Mormons in Utah has shrunk to only 60%, down from 70% in 1995. That’s because of a huge influx of non-Mormons, many of them urbanites relocating to get out of the city.

    So, is it just Utah, or are other small towns getting booms? All across the southwest they are, from Parump, NV (up nearly 50% since 2000) to rural Arizona counties (up 10-20%)… and in New England where my hometown has doubled since 1970 and increased 10% since 2000 (to 4,400).

    Maybe people just don’t want to live in the Texas panhandle?

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