The University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Donahue Institute

2014 Publication Archive

Retaining Recent College Graduates in Boston: Is There a Brain Drain?

In collaboration with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the UMass Donahue Institute examined the extent to which the Boston Metro area experiences “brain drain,” a migration of young college-educated individuals out of the city due to lack of economic opportunities, as well as the rate at which it retains its college graduates.

Among all major cities, Boston’s share of 20-34 year olds is the highest in the country. While this proportion is enhanced greatly because of the large number of non-native students imported into the Boston area, the city also maintains a growing population of 25-34 year olds with high levels of education.

The retention of New England’s college graduates is lower than other parts of the country, owing to the high levels at which the region imports students. This retention rate also reflects the highly prestigious and selective schools in the Boston area which produce more mobile graduates.

Comparing the number of graduates produced in the Boston area with the number of job openings indicates that there are far more graduates than can be reasonably accommodated by the area’s labor market, but the share of 20-34 years who live in the area are highly educated.

By: Dan Hodge, Lindsay Koshgarian, Carrie Bernstein


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