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IBS Speaker Series: The changing populations and economic fortunes of small places in the United States

October 18, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Recording of talk on YouTube:

Zoom link: – email for password.

Speaker: Dylan Connor

Abstract: Despite the portrayal of rural people and places as being among the major victims of recent economic change in the United States, rural communities have been left out of most research on the topic. This urban-centric research focus has led to overly generalized claims about the nature of rural change, which risks misguiding policies aimed at rural rejuvenation. Through a series of advances in spatial demography, we undertake the first longitudinal analysis of rural places from 1980 to 2018. Our findings reveal six distinct trajectories of change across rural places, ranging from severe and worsening poverty to more optimistic patterns of economic stability. We show that these trajectories have significant impacts on rural intergenerational mobility and, therefore, shape the long-term life chances of rural children.

Dylan Connor

Bio: Dylan Connor is an assistant professor at the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University. He uses big data to study the role of geographic forces in shaping human behavior, migration, social mobility and inequality over long periods of time. His recent projects examine the long-run capacity of regions to generate opportunity across generations by race and ethnicity, and the impact of cities in changing cultural patterns related to fertility and demography. Dr. Connor is Co-PI of projects relating to inequality and sea-level rise exposure in cities funded by the National Science Foundation and the changing demography and health of small-town America funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH). After receiving his PhD at UCLA, Dr. Connor worked as a Research Associate under Myron Gutmann at the Institute of Behavioral Science.


October 18, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


CU Population Center
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