“Brain Drain” affecting Mississippi’s economic growth

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 6:25 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Brain drain is something that is having a negative effect here in Mississippi, and economists are trying to figure out how to fix it.

Brain drain is something many people have discussed over the past several years, but what is brain drain, well it is the loss of educated and professional people to other states, and it is having a major impact here in the Magnolia State.

“Well, in terms of the overall economy, it slows down our economic growth because a lot of times college graduates are in. Industries that are experiencing economic growth they add to productivity. They’re some of our more productive. Individuals in the economy, and so it just kind of tends to have a slowdown effect on our economy,” said University Research Center State Economist, Corey Miller.

The state of Mississippi already has the second lowest population of people with a bachelor’s degree so losing the small numbers we already have does not bode well for the future of the state, but what is the key to fixing the problem?

“And I think it’s back to those. How do we get those companies to set up a space where then they can attract more companies, right? Doing the same kind of thing and building some kind of network here in the state. And what is that network? What does it look like? I think there are so many people trying to figure that out right. What’s the best network to try to have you in Mississippi? Who can we attract? What kind of talents do our people have that are going to be especially useful to any kind of certain industry?” said University Research Center Senior Economist, Sondra Collins.

Brain drain does not only affect Mississippi, but one thing that the state really lacks is a thriving big city.

“Our urbanization in Mississippi. We have a lot of rural communities in Mississippi. We don’t really have a thriving urban area, so I think that’s a lack of. And it’s a bit of a chicken and egg problem, to be honest, no what which one leads to the other, but a lack of college-educated residents and larger more thriving urban areas. Kind of goes hand in hand,” said Miller.