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William H. Frey photo

Brain Gains/Brain Drains

Publication Abstract

Frey, William H. 2004. "Brain Gains/Brain Drains." American Demographics, 26(5): 19-23.

Nearly a quarter of American adults have a college education - a record high. As education remains a strong priority for parents and their children, it's also a number 1 goal for governors and mayors who see attracting the best and the brightest to their states and cities as essential to enriching their tax bases and staying competitive. Fact is, competition among places for smart migrants - recent college grads, midcareer workers or retirees - creates winners and losers. Recently released migration data from the 2000 census show some surprises. Some of the most cosmopolitan, gray matter-rich sections of the country appear to be losing their grip. Elite coastal states still have the edge as bastions of the educated. Noticeably absent from this elite list are most of the states in the interior West and South. Atlanta drew the largest number of college graduates of all 48 major metropolitan areas in the country.

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