Iowa’s Case Of ‘Brain Drain’ Among The Worst in The Nation
The state of Iowa is having a major issue with 'brain drain'. No, it isn't some mystery illness that gives you a headache for days. But it is a significant issue that doesn't bode well for future generations of Iowans.
So what exactly is 'brain drain'? The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that the term refers to the departure of college graduates to other states. And Iowa has a massive problem with top minds leaving the Hawkeye state. While the issue is far from new, recent data shows how poorly Iowa ranks nationally. How is this for a number? Negative 34%. That is the difference in the number of college graduates Iowa produces compared to the number still living in the state. That is the 10th worst percentage in the U.S. according to the Gazette.
The numbers aren't just bad nationally. Iowa is the worst in the Midwest too. The Gazette reports that Iowa's numbers are lower than all six states that border it. Wisconsin is the next lowest at negative 21 percent. Illinois boasts the 5th BEST retention rate in the nation at plus 21 percent. So why are graduates leaving the state? Experts say the state simply lacks the high-paying jobs that a large number of college graduates are looking for.
The Gazette reports that Iowa's population grew by 4.7 percent from 2010 to 2020. Most of that growth happened in the state's four largest counties. 68 Iowa counties had population decreases. Data shows Iowa's largest cities like Des Moines, Ames, and Iowa City faring posting gains as well.