John W. Meyer

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Rural Sociology

First Advisor

Linda Baer


This study investigated the relationship between various demographic, socioeconomic and geo-ecological factors and the process of age-specific net migration in South Dakota for the decades of 1950-60, 1960-70 and 1970-80. Census Bureau, Department of Education, Soil Conservation Service and vital statistics data were employed to answer the basic question of how demographic, socioeconomic and geo-ecological characteristics of counties of South Dakota were related to the patterns of age-specific net migration. For this study, four descriptive activities were completed. More specifically, mid-decade survival rates were calculated, age-specific net migration rates were determined, patterns of age-specific net migration for the past three decades were illustrated and selected demographic, socioeconomic and geo-ecological factors were presented. Also, selected demographic, socioeconomic and geo-ecological variables were tested to examine the extent to which patterns of age-specific net migration, with the age-specific age categories reflecting life cycle stages, were related. In terms of the contributions made by this study, the research illustrated the importance of utilizing mid-decade survival rates in determining the level and subsequent pattern of migration, the pertinence of selecting age categories for analysis based on life cycle stages, the value of a multi-decade approach to studying migration levels and patterns, and the significance of the contribution made by a mixed analytic approach utilized in this research to Lee's Theory of Migration. Further, the research also revealed a potential explanator of the decline in the net out-migration rate experienced by the state of South Dakota during the 1970-80 decade, the significance of the relationship between selected variables and age-specific net migration and the contribution made by the significant variables of this research to previous research on migration.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Population research -- South Dakota
Migration, Internal -- Economic aspects -- South Dakota
Migration, Internal -- Social aspects -- South Dakota
Demographic transition -- South Dakota




South Dakota State University

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Sociology Commons