Population Trends in Micropolitan Areas

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This paper studies migration to micropolitan areas. The Office of Management of Budget first classified micropolitan areas in 2003. Since the definition is recent, most studies on the determinants of migration in the economic literature have been on metropolitan areas and rural counties. Recent research has found that there is a significant migration down the urban hierarchy, with the most significant migration flows from mega and major metropolitan areas to micropolitan and rural areas. This shows that as time goes on, there are important factors that are pulling people out of large cities and causing them to relocate to micropolitan areas. The contribution of this study is to fill the gap of knowledge in the economic literature of the determinants of migration to micropolitan areas. While some micropolitan areas have seen steady increases in population over the last several decades, some have seen a significant drop. If examining two micropolitan areas, which are similar in many respects, where the population of one is growing and declining in the other, then it is of value to know why. This knowledge is important for micropolitan municipalities, which have stagnated, in order to introduce new policies conducive to in-migration. The Pittsburg Micropolitan Area has seen dismal population growth during the last couple of decades. This paper aims to apply the findings to the Pittsburg Micropolitan Area and attempt to determine policies which would be conducive to local population growth.