Twenty-first century migration, integration, and receptivity: Prospects and pathways in metropolitan areas of the southeastern United States

Paul N. McDaniel, Kennesaw State University


Metropolitan regions in the southeastern United States are among the fastest-growing regions in the country. Due in part to broader economic transitions and related pull factors, urban regions in the American South are poised for further growth. In addition to pull factors driving current and projected migration trends, climate change-induced migration from coastal areas will also contribute to population growth in proximate inland urban regions. Moreover, despite state- and federal-level rhetoric and policy vacillations, places like Atlanta, Charlotte, and Nashville have planned policies, programs, and practices focused on integration and receptivity of newly arriving populations, including immigrants, refugees, and domestic migrants. How will metropolitan regions in the South continue to incorporate millions of new residents through the mid-twenty-first century? This paper analyzes projected population growth in the southeastern US through the mid-twenty-first century. Findings suggest institutional and social change prospects to facilitate the South’s evolution on migration, integration, and receptivity in metropolitan regions, and identify possible pathways for southern metropolitan regions to build a more regionally resilient and resourceful future.