Linda Baer

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies


This study investigated the process of net migration in counties of South Dakota from 1970 to1980. Census Bureau and Vital Statistics data were employed to answer the basic question of how major demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of counties of South Dakota were related to patterns of net migration. A description of net migration was presented and from this specific patterns of net migration from 1970 and 1980 were determined. The net migration patterns were (1) in-migration over both decades; (2) turnaround migration: out-migration in 1970 and in-migration in 1980; (3) reverse turnaround: in-migration in 1970 and out-migration in 1980; (4) out-migration: under 15 percent out-migration for 1970 and/or 1980; (5) high out-migration: 15 percent out-migration and over for both decades. Selected demographic and socioeconomic variables were tested to see the extent to which patterns of migration were related. Age composition variables and economic factors were found to be most significant. The counties within the migration patterns were then analyzed to determine which of the selected characteristics were most alike within the categories. Those variables were total businesses, child dependency ratio, birth rate, death rate, fertility ratio, sex ratio, general dependency ratio, index of aging, young adult ratio, median age, teachers per student, employment, unemployment, agricultural employment, poverty, per capita income, average daily membership and cost per average daily membership. The first two variables were most significant. Finally, the pattern of net migration typology was tested to determine the extent of the differences between the net migration categories. Of specific interest were declining counties, the high out-migration pattern and the growing counties, the turnaround pattern. Differences were found between the categories for age dependency ratio, index of aging, median age, employment, agricultural employment and total businesses.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Migration, Internal -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University