Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Swortzel, Kirk A.

Committee Member

Phillips, Tommy M.

Committee Member

Barrett, Jason R.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Campus Access Only 1 Year

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Agricultural and Extension Education

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


The purpose of this study was to determine why young adults are leaving rural Mississippi towns and not returning to those areas. Research objectives were to 1) describe the characteristics of young adults who have left rural areas in the last ten years , 2) identify specific reasons why young adults choose to leave where they were raised, and 3) identify factors that would attract young people to return to rural areas in Mississippi.

Findings from this study indicated young adults were leaving rural areas for better educational and job opportunities, but some were relocating to other areas within Mississippi for more social and recreational offerings.

Results from this research lined up with what other researchers have found regarding young adults’ trends in other regions. Local officials /leaders in rural areas can use this research to help change local communities and something to recruit young adults back to rural Mississippi.