Is The College Brain Drain Depleting Your Home State?
For decades, many states feared that they were losing their best talent to other states with prestigious universities. This “brain drain” as it’s been known to be called, has in part been attributed to the trend of people finding work close to where they attend school.
By tracking individuals who provide information about their high school education, their college education, and their first job, we see a remarkable reversal of this trend:
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On a state by state level, we can see tremendous variation between states' ability to attract back the talent they’ve lost. We think this is a great way to see which states instill a sense of identity and loyalty into their inhabitants:
- As jobs have been growing more social and less task-oriented, the likelihood of moving to a new state (where you neither grew up nor went to school) has been plummeting.
- Instead, family and community networks appear to be increasing in importance (relative to the social ties created in universities), as the rate of moving back home has dramatically risen.
- The states that instill the most loyalty are New Jersey, Maryland, and Alaska, while the states that instill the least loyalty are Washington DC, Oregon, and Arizona.
If you have any ideas of other metrics to track or would like to hear more, please feel free to reach out.