'you don't want to be a check-out chick all your life': the out-migration of young people from Australia's small rural towns

Margaret Alston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Globalisation and changes in agriculture have resulted in major social changes in inland Australia. Depopulation of the inland has led many to speculate on the future of rural towns and rural people. This paper will examine population drifts from country towns to cities and from the inland to the coastal regions and, in particular, the out-migration of young people. In doing this, the paper focuses on several small towns in central New South Wales that have been the subject of intensive study during 2000 and 2001. Drawing on analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, in-depth interviews and focus groups with key informants and surveys with young people and their parents in small rural communities the paper will report on the loss of young people and the greater loss of young women from these areas. It is argued that this outmigration of young people is linked to the need to seek higher education and also to the loss of full-time jobs for young people. The loss of these jobs is the result of changes in agricultural production, labour market restructuring and a withdrawal of public and private sector services. It is further argued that current reliance by governments on market based and community self-help solutions is not enough to provide a future for rural communities. Even if economic growth occurs this will not solve the problem of loss of young people, and the greater loss of young women, nor will it address the issue of access to education and training. Rather far greater attention to human capital (access to education, training and employment), institutional capital (government and non-government services and infrastructure) and social capital (strong networks) is needed if Australia's small rural towns are to survive and flourish.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-313
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Journal of Social Issues
Volume39
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Fingerprint

out-migration
town
population drift
rural community
education
coastal region
self-help
small town
agricultural production
withdrawal
human capital
social capital
social change
private sector
restructuring
public sector
parents
economic growth
labor market
agriculture

Cite this

@article{2238b354301a468d9b98c75c03815419,
title = "'you don't want to be a check-out chick all your life': the out-migration of young people from Australia's small rural towns",
abstract = "Globalisation and changes in agriculture have resulted in major social changes in inland Australia. Depopulation of the inland has led many to speculate on the future of rural towns and rural people. This paper will examine population drifts from country towns to cities and from the inland to the coastal regions and, in particular, the out-migration of young people. In doing this, the paper focuses on several small towns in central New South Wales that have been the subject of intensive study during 2000 and 2001. Drawing on analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, in-depth interviews and focus groups with key informants and surveys with young people and their parents in small rural communities the paper will report on the loss of young people and the greater loss of young women from these areas. It is argued that this outmigration of young people is linked to the need to seek higher education and also to the loss of full-time jobs for young people. The loss of these jobs is the result of changes in agricultural production, labour market restructuring and a withdrawal of public and private sector services. It is further argued that current reliance by governments on market based and community self-help solutions is not enough to provide a future for rural communities. Even if economic growth occurs this will not solve the problem of loss of young people, and the greater loss of young women, nor will it address the issue of access to education and training. Rather far greater attention to human capital (access to education, training and employment), institutional capital (government and non-government services and infrastructure) and social capital (strong networks) is needed if Australia's small rural towns are to survive and flourish.",
author = "Margaret Alston",
note = "Imported on 12 Apr 2017 - DigiTool details were: Journal title (773t) = Australian Journal of Social Issues. ISSNs: 0157-6321;",
year = "2004",
language = "English",
volume = "39",
pages = "299--313",
journal = "Australian Journal of Social Issues",
issn = "0157-6321",
publisher = "Australian Council of Social Service",
number = "3",

}

'you don't want to be a check-out chick all your life' : the out-migration of young people from Australia's small rural towns. / Alston, Margaret.

In: Australian Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 39, No. 3, 2004, p. 299-313.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - 'you don't want to be a check-out chick all your life'

T2 - the out-migration of young people from Australia's small rural towns

AU - Alston, Margaret

N1 - Imported on 12 Apr 2017 - DigiTool details were: Journal title (773t) = Australian Journal of Social Issues. ISSNs: 0157-6321;

PY - 2004

Y1 - 2004

N2 - Globalisation and changes in agriculture have resulted in major social changes in inland Australia. Depopulation of the inland has led many to speculate on the future of rural towns and rural people. This paper will examine population drifts from country towns to cities and from the inland to the coastal regions and, in particular, the out-migration of young people. In doing this, the paper focuses on several small towns in central New South Wales that have been the subject of intensive study during 2000 and 2001. Drawing on analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, in-depth interviews and focus groups with key informants and surveys with young people and their parents in small rural communities the paper will report on the loss of young people and the greater loss of young women from these areas. It is argued that this outmigration of young people is linked to the need to seek higher education and also to the loss of full-time jobs for young people. The loss of these jobs is the result of changes in agricultural production, labour market restructuring and a withdrawal of public and private sector services. It is further argued that current reliance by governments on market based and community self-help solutions is not enough to provide a future for rural communities. Even if economic growth occurs this will not solve the problem of loss of young people, and the greater loss of young women, nor will it address the issue of access to education and training. Rather far greater attention to human capital (access to education, training and employment), institutional capital (government and non-government services and infrastructure) and social capital (strong networks) is needed if Australia's small rural towns are to survive and flourish.

AB - Globalisation and changes in agriculture have resulted in major social changes in inland Australia. Depopulation of the inland has led many to speculate on the future of rural towns and rural people. This paper will examine population drifts from country towns to cities and from the inland to the coastal regions and, in particular, the out-migration of young people. In doing this, the paper focuses on several small towns in central New South Wales that have been the subject of intensive study during 2000 and 2001. Drawing on analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, in-depth interviews and focus groups with key informants and surveys with young people and their parents in small rural communities the paper will report on the loss of young people and the greater loss of young women from these areas. It is argued that this outmigration of young people is linked to the need to seek higher education and also to the loss of full-time jobs for young people. The loss of these jobs is the result of changes in agricultural production, labour market restructuring and a withdrawal of public and private sector services. It is further argued that current reliance by governments on market based and community self-help solutions is not enough to provide a future for rural communities. Even if economic growth occurs this will not solve the problem of loss of young people, and the greater loss of young women, nor will it address the issue of access to education and training. Rather far greater attention to human capital (access to education, training and employment), institutional capital (government and non-government services and infrastructure) and social capital (strong networks) is needed if Australia's small rural towns are to survive and flourish.

M3 - Article

VL - 39

SP - 299

EP - 313

JO - Australian Journal of Social Issues

JF - Australian Journal of Social Issues

SN - 0157-6321

IS - 3

ER -