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Is Community Attachment a Determinant of Actual Migration? An Estimate of the Social Capital, Linear‐Development, and Systemic Approaches


Social Science Quarterly

Published online on


--- - |2+ Objective This study examined whether community attachment leads to population changes through in‐ and out‐migration (such as migration rates), based on the concepts posited by the social capital, linear‐development, and systemic approaches. Methods Using the data of the 2014 Iowa Small Towns Project combined with information from the 2016 American Community Survey, we conducted structural equation modeling to examine the associations between community attachment with respect to its predictors (e.g., population size, median age, length of residence, and social capital) and migration. Results The results showed that the model effectively explained community attachment, and in particular, longer length of residence and higher social capital increased the level of community attachment. However, community attachment did not predict migration rates. Conclusion While previous studies found that community attachment is a determinant factor of migration intention, and essentially identical to actual migration, the findings implied that using migration intention or actual migration might yield conflicting results and thus yield different conclusions. - 'Social Science Quarterly, EarlyView. '