Stay Connected

Follow ERS on Twitter
Subscribe to RSS feeds
Subscribe to ERS e-Newsletters.aspx
Listen to ERS podcasts
Read ERS blogs at USDA

John Cromartie



John Cromartie, a geographer with the Resource and Rural Economics Division, conducts research on rural population change, rural housing, and rural-urban classifications. He recently completed a collaborative, field-based study of return migration to rural communities. Findings show that return migrants play a critical role in rural areas in slowing population loss, generating jobs, and increasing human capital. As an expert on rural definitions, John has developed new classification schemes and briefed policymakers on definitions used in USDA's rural development programs. He serves as a consultant to the Office of Management and Budget on metropolitan area definitions and the American Community Survey. From 2005-2014, John was a visiting lecturer in the Department of Geography, George Washington University, where he taught a class on Population Geography.


John holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Geography, and a B.A. in History, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Professional Affiliations:

John is a member of the Association of American Geographers, the Population Association of America, and the Rural Sociological Society.

Selected Publications:

Cromartie, J., von Reichert, C., Arthun, R. 2015. "Why Some Return Home to Rural America and Why It Matters." Amber Waves, July 6.

Cromartie, J., von Reichert, C., Arthun, R. 2015. Factors Affecting Former Residents’ Returning to Rural Communities, ERR-185, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 37 pp.

von Reichert, C., Cromartie, J., Arthun, R. 2014. "Impacts of Return Migration on Rural U.S. Communities," Rural Sociology, Volume 79, Issue 2, pp. 200-26.

von Reichert, C., Cromartie, J., Arthun, R. 2014. "Reasons for Returning and Not Returning to Rural U.S. Communities," The Professional Geographer, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp. 58-72.

Nelson, P., and J. Cromartie. 2014. “Subprime Lending and Its Impact on Rural Housing Markets,” Housing and Society, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp. 145-176.

Cromartie, J., Nulph, D., Hart, G., Dobis, E. 2013. "Defining Frontier Areas in the United States," Journal of Maps, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp. 149-53.

Last updated: Monday, June 06, 2016

For more information contact: Website Administrator