The zip codes of agriculture (n = 346) and human environmental sciences (n = 304) bachelor’s degree graduates were examined six to seven years after graduation to describe and compare pre-college and post-college residences (rural versus metropolitan) by major and overall. A majority of agriculture graduates were from rural areas (61.6%), and a majority of human environmental sciences graduates were from metropolitan areas (55.9%). Majorities of both agriculture (54.9%) and human environmental sciences (70.1%) graduates lived in metropolitan areas post-graduation, resulting in a net loss of 100 college-educated rural youth. Among rural graduates, there was no significant difference in the percentage of agriculture (62.4%) and human environmental sciences (57.5%) graduates currently living in rural areas. Among metropolitan graduates, twice as many agriculture graduates lived in rural areas after graduation as compared to human environmental sciences graduates. Graduates from rural areas were 11 times more likely than graduates from metropolitan areas to live in rural areas after graduation. Regardless of precollege residence or major, nearly 40% of graduates lived in their home community after graduation, and 60% lived within 50 miles of their home community. Further research is needed to understand the decision-making processes and factors undergirding these residential patterns.



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