© 2023 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

New Study Tracks Migration Of Kansans


Lawrence, KS – Kansas has been gradually losing population for over a century. But a new study suggests that regionalization, the movement of people from rural to urban areas within Kansas, is actually more significant and pronounced trend.

KC Currents' intern Tim Bridgham spoke with a few Kansas City transplants about why they moved here: Bill Gallo, actually another former KCUR intern, and two of Tim's friends Andrew Pirotte and Jordan Hasty.

Their stories might sound familiar to economist Arthur Hall, executive director for the Center of Applied Economics at the University of Kansas. He recently completed a study that uses individual tax return information to track migration. When a social security number shows up in a different zip code from the previous year, it's counted as a move. (If the idea of researchers scouring through tax returns makes you concerned about privacy, don't worry, all personal information is removed from the data that Hall and his team receive.)

Hall's report describes nation-wide migration trends from 1995 to 2006. There's special emphasis on the Great Plains and then Kansas in particular. KCUR's Alex Smith trekked up to Lawrence to talk with Hall about the regionalization and how it differs from Kansas's long-term depopulation trend.

More information:
The County-to-County Migration of Taxpayers and their Incomes

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

As a health care reporter, I aim to empower my audience to take steps to improve health care and make informed decisions as consumers and voters. I tell human stories augmented with research and data to explain how our health care system works and sometimes fails us. Email me at alexs@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make nonprofit journalism available for everyone.