/Brain drain event explores why Mississippians leave Mississippi Today

Brain drain event explores why Mississippians leave Mississippi Today

Mississippi News OXFORD — Mississippi’s total income lost $1.5 billion due to outmigration in four years. This was between 2011 and 2015. The state has lost approximately the same number of people as Tupelo in the six years between 2010 and 2016. Mississippi is the only nation state that is losing so many people at such a rapid pace. Rethink Mississippi’s Jake McGraw has brought these statistics to the forefront, but it is less well known that there are qualitative reasons behind them. “Brain Drain and Migration is more than a quantitative question. McGraw spoke at a public discussion about the topic. McGraw and six students sat down with Savannah Smith, a senior honors student at the University of Mississippi to discuss Smith’s thesis. It examines why Mississippians are leaving. Smith, a Corinth native, said that she has always considered leaving the state. This was part of her research. It’s more than just an economic problem in the state, I believe. It’s easy to point to jobs and say that’s why there aren’t jobs in this state, but it’s more complicated to see a domino effect. I believe that it has to do with the policies we make in our Legislature. I also think it has to do with the social culture in the state. Smith stated that this is what she tried to find during her research. Tuesday evening, Smith interviewed six Mississippians in their 20s. She asked them if they planned to stay or leave the state. Two of the six panelists said that they intend to stay in Mississippi after they graduate from college. Brady Ruffin from Clinton, who is moving to Little Rock for a master’s in education, said that “I tried really hard” to stay in Mississippi. “I looked carefully at what I could do and which jobs I could apply for. After reviewing my options, I found that there weren’t many. “… I’m not going to too far, but it’s a consequence of a shortage of opportunities.” Another panelist stated that he is leaving because he feels a certain close-mindedness permeates Mississippi. Terrence Johnson, a Mississippi native, said, “When we try and move forward and try not to be regressive and to be progressive, there’s lots of backlash.” “I wanted to live in a place that encourages dialogue.” Those who have decided to stay said they feel a sense a duty. Alexis Smith, Picayune, said that “I don’t necessarily believe that’s a good argument to stay or that people should feel indebted [to remain] here.” Smith will be entering the Mississippi Teacher Corps after she graduates college. Data from the U.S. Census and the IRS have shown evidence of the brain drain, but some state leaders are not convinced. Lt. Governor. Tate Reeves stated that he believes the data is exaggerated. Smith stated that it was a bit disappointing that state leaders denied the data. “I’ve spoken to many of my peers who are leaving Mississippi and I know they want the same opportunities Mississippi does not offer.” “I have seen both the quantitative and qualitative data around that. “… I hope we can all agree that it is a problem moving forward.”