Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)


Economics and Finance


N. Keith Roberts


The hypothesis that migration from rural areas of declining population is selective of young, well-educated, achievement-oriented persons was tested on a cohort of graduating seniors from Star Valley (Wyoming) High School.

The 132 living members of the senior classes of 1946 and 1947 served as the population of study. The cohort approach was used to control such variables as age, high school education, rural area of origin and socio- cultural background.

Members of the population were located in their current places of residence through a number of tracking methods including checking high school reunion lists, contacting relatives, high school officials, and friends, and scanning telephone directories. Of the 126 who were located, 96 returned a stamped self-addressed questionnaire administered by the researcher in time to be evaluated in this study.

Analysis of data contained in the questionnaire and records on file at Star Valley High School support hypothesized relationships at statistically significant levels. Young, high achieving (as measured by grade point averages and scores on the Ohio State Psychological Test) and well-educated members of the population left their rural community in response to better-paying, more plentiful and more satisfying job experiences elsewhere.



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