High Mobility Among Young Rural Canadian Women

Walsh, D. 2013. High mobility among young rural Canadian women. Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift–Norwegian Journal of Geography Vol. 67, 304–311. ISSN 0029-1951.
Rural youths’ outmigration is a well-documented phenomenon. However, very little is known about what makes some rural youths more mobile than others after they leave their parental home. The article offers a conceptual and empirical understanding of high mobility among rural women in the age range 25–34 years. Drawing upon the narratives of eight highly mobile women living in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, the author shows that their migrations are more likely to be motivated by employment than education, and are often part of a tied migration linked to migration networks and systems. In a few cases, they were driven by the desire either to “get away” from the island of Newfoundland or to become autonomous of place. Highly mobile women were found to be risk takers and adventure seekers. In several cases, extensive mobility after finishing high school was a continuation of mobile biographies rooted in their childhoods. The article confirms that high mobility, particularly high mobility that involves multiple moves, is closely connected to insecure employment, contractual work, and local labour market insecurity.