The New West: Patterns of Internal Migration at the Beginning of the 21st Century
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The New West, located in the interior West of the United States and includes the states of Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, is experiencing a large and growing population of internal migrants. This dissertation utilized data from the United States Bureau of the Census‘ County and City Data Book: 2007 and other sources to analyze migration patterns at the structural-contextual level and the individual-level in the New West. At the structural-contextual level, ordinary least squares regression equations were estimated to predict a series of relationships between ecological factors and net migration rates for nonmetropolitan counties. Focus was placed on variables pertaining to amenity-based characteristics and sustenance organization in order to predict net migration rates. Findings suggest that areas with flourishing sustenance producing activities and more amenity-based characteristics are experiencing higher levels of in-migration. At the individual-level, multinomial logit equations were estimated for a sample of residents living in the state of Nevada based on age, educational background, sex, marital status, and racial/ethnic identification to predict the likelihood of an individual having engaged in an interstate migration into the state of Nevada. Individuals having recently migrated to Nevada were found to be older, having obtained higher levels of education, and of Hispanic or Asian descent. These findings confirm that both structural-contextual level and individual-level predictors are essential in the understanding the patterns of migration occurring in the New West.
Meyer, Leslie Denise (2010). The New West: Patterns of Internal Migration at the Beginning of the 21st Century. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from