A state-by-state look at migration patterns

The New York Times published some fascinating visualizations of US migration patterns. They are worth a look.

A few highlights:

Hardly anybody moves to Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama except for people trying to escape one of the other two states in that list. Georgia and South Carolina, by contrast, are seeing interesting demographic changes.

Texas growth has come almost entirely from immigration and the emptying of the industrial Midwest. The number of people coming there from the coasts is tiny. The graphs help explain why migration is changing politics in Georgia and changing nothing in Texas.

California is starting to develop more of a local population. Traditionally it has been full of migrants. It is also starting to produce some significant out-migration.

All of the country’s highest wealth areas are seeing stable population and significant out-migration, much of it toward poorer sections of the country. Utah, Vermont, and Virginia are seeing surprising increases in dynamism. The DC area may be the most dynamic population in the country.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

Posted in Texas
79 comments on “A state-by-state look at migration patterns
  1. goplifer says:

    Combining census numbers, economic statistics, and anecdote, here’s what I think I see happening and how it affected some personal decisions.

    The coastal metropolises and Chicago are gradually self-sorting. They are becoming centers of high-wealth, high-education industries. They are not all that dynamic in terms or growth or expansion, but they are becoming the place where your boss/CEO lives.

    Along the way they are becoming even more fantastically expensive than in the past. It is unlikely that there will be any great population boom coming for New York, Boston, Chicago or San Francisco. In fact they might shrink. Economic growth there is largely divorced from population. It’s about capital.

    You know how you can identify those places? Look for cities where the center is where the wealthiest people are and the suburbs are the most marginal areas.

    They are becoming a world apart, wealthy, affluent and very difficult to live in and difficult to break into. The big metros that fail to make that cut face an ugly future. Detroit, Philly, St Louis, Cleveland and others that failed to make the transition from big industry to high-education industry face existential challenges. in 25 years I’m not sure that Indianapolis will even exist as an independent government entity. Having lots of old, heavy infrastructure without a growing population or a wealthy population may mean collapse.

    Agricultural areas are emptying out. That process is nearly complete in the upper midwest but it is only just starting in the South. Places like Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte and Nashville will see their populations explode as rural residents flee the dying countryside. They are America’s own domestic China. Chaotic, dynamic, dominated by low-income jobs, infrastructure problems, and spasms of political weirdness related to exploitative growth and reluctant change.

    As the data shows, the bulk of Texas’ population boom has come from Latin America, much of the rest, just like in the 70’s, has come from unemployed industrial workers fleeing the midwest. Working age professionals outside the energy industry don’t come from Cali or NY to Texas unless they’ve already earned their money and it no longer matters where they live. The profile of US born coastal folk fleeing to Texas looks a lot like people moving to Florida.

    These dynamics had a lot to do with my decision to take my family to Chicago. There’s a lot of opportunity in Texas, but it’s not the same category of opportunities. It is easier to get started there, but very difficult to advance. I wanted my kids to be comfortable in the most challenging, competitive environments we could take on. New York was just a few ticks more aggressive than I felt I could master. San Francisco…God, I just can’t tolerate Northern California. Seattle is too far. Boston is too rigid, too liberal, too and closed. DC has too little commercial activity independent of government. Chicago has turned out to be just right.

    Other places that look really promising – Minneapolis/St Paul, Denver, Portland, Pittsburgh, Madison, Columbus. Other places that look really grim – Little Rock, Jackson, Memphis, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Miami, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Kansas City.

    Would like to come home someday, but got to take care of some business first.

  2. johnofgaunt75 says:

    Interesting how the vast majority of people who live in Texas grew up here. You often hear how “everyone’s moving to Texas” but the population is still largely local, especially when compared to other Sunbelt states like Florida, Arizona, Nevada, etc. Also, despite the common trope that “Californians are moving to Texas because it is too liberal/expensive/crazy/etc.” it seems that very few people from California are moving to Texas when compared to states from the Midwest and South.

    My old home, Virginia, is one of the most vibrant populations in the country. Also one of the most educated and wealthy populations. Miss it a lot.

    • GG says:

      Where in VA? I went to jr. high and high school in No. Va. First Vienna then Fairfax. My youngest brother lives in Burke, VA. Back when I was HS Burke was mainly country and we’d have keggers in fields back there. Now it’s a suburb of DC. I don’t think I’d recognize any of it now.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        W&L in Arlington. Went to college in New England and then moved back to NOVA for a bit. Then moved out west. Now here.

        So I have been everywhere…except the midwest…but who would want to live there anyway? (Hah hah….joke Chris).

      • GG says:

        I actually attended NOVA for awhile. I know Arlington well.

      • John Galt says:

        Small world, John. My mother went to W&L (a long time ago).

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Wow. I lived in Arlington during several of my Dad’s tours, and attended one of the Cathedral schools in D.C. (NCS and St. Albans). I’ve been back in years since, and it’s shocking how much, say, the Dulles Airport span has sprouted up since.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Let’s see, first trollbart whines:

        Bart-1 says:
        August 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm
        “one [sic] is a compilation of over a century. I’ll take the survey as more relevant.”

        And when disproven about the relevance of data “a century old”, bart flip flops to OV’s hackneyed “data”…that ends in 2010.

        The NY Times census survey goes to 2012.

        Sooooooo trollbart, what happened to “I’ll take the survey as more relevant”? You’ll take whatever crap supports your meme no matter how inaccurate or hypocritical it is as you cherry pick garbage “data”.

        And speaking of crap data (didn’t think anyone was going to read it, did you trollbart?), OV’s “data” uses older IRS data.

        And looky here again, ANOTHER “data” caveat/admission:

        “This IRS information is not a perfect tool. It leaves out students, low-income persons, the elderly, and others who may not file income-tax returns, and it does not track moves associated with first-time or final filings. For these reasons, it does not produce as high a total for net migration from California as the Census figures do.”

        So they OPENLY admit it is NOT AS ACCURATE and older than Chris’ census data trollbart dismissed. Trollbart picking through MORE garbage “data” yet again to appear “right”. And failing yet again of course.

        Keep it up trollbart. Popcorn futures are soaring just from the entertainment of watching you continue to self immolate.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Sorry, misposted. You can delete this if you like Chris.

    • rightonrush says:

      If I had my druthers I’d just as soon industries not beat a path to Texas. We are hurting for water now, God only knows what it’s gonna be in the next 20 years. Yep, I know I’m sorta anti-social that way, but hell, I’d like to keep what’s left of out natural resources for our kids.

    • Bart-1 says:

      The NY Times article looks at populations since 1900. If you want to look at a Curennt Gallup Poll of where people living in Texas are from, California is by far the biggest, followed by Illinois, and NY. Would be interested anyone’s suggestions of why the have had so many out migration to Texas (other than being big states and lack of jobs).
      http://www.chron.com/living/gallery/Hate-your-state-You-re-not-alone-86200.php

      • Bart-1 says:

        wrong link. I left out Oklahoma as being up there with NY, Cal., and Illinois http://www.chron.com/homes/article/Where-Texas-new-residents-come-from-5561833.php

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Low cost of living in Texas, warm weather, no state income tax, business friendly, job recruitment.

        I remember Kathy Whitmire recruited scores of police offers from New York in the early ’80s.

      • GG says:

        Warm?? How about hotter than the 9th circle of hell.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I should have said NON-FREEZING weather.

      • Bart-1 says:

        Interestingly Texas is number 5 of states where residents like living best Tutt. ( in spite of the heat).

      • goplifer says:

        Let’s see, Census statistics are giving a different picture than a YouGov survey. I wonder which source which one might be more complete?

      • Bart-1 says:

        one is a compilation of over a century. I’ll take the survey as more relevant. Wonder why Illinois has so many out migrants and was so high on the least liked states to live, Chris?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Bart: Texas also has the advantage of having such friendly residents.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Bart-1/seriouscynic/usincrisis/Anse identity thief/fake DanMan, do you say and do stupid things intentionally just so you can then whine your fake victimization “they’re picking on me”? I’m trying to give you a little bit of credit here.

        A comprehensive census survey vs a self reported fluff poll? Reams of hard data vs a ridiculously smaller sample of self reported data? Hmmmm.

      • Bart-1 says:

        Bubba, Johnofgault originally was asking about the CURRENT situation for people LIVING in Texas. Chris’ NYTimes census chart means little in that regard since the vast majority of people who have lived in Texas since 1900 doesn’t represent the current population at all. The “reams of hard data” being applied to the current population as JofG was trying to do is what is terrible statistical analysis. Statistical application must be relevant when referenced. To believe that the percentages of those living in states during the depression is meaningful is fool hearty. You are well aware of the famous line about statistics when misused.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Well, Bart-1/seriouscynic/usincrisis/Anse identity thief/fake DanMan, so much for giving you a benefit of a doubt.

        Since you insist on doubling down on your intractable stupidity, did you even LOOK at the charts? Obviously you DIDN’T. Not for comprehension at least. Again.

        They are a chronological TIMELINE. Don’t want to look at data from 1900?

        MOVE TO THE RIGHT ON THE TIMELINE!

        Duh!

        And I even let slide your persistent posting wrong links.

        You really are a self immolating (and self punching) punchline, trollbart.

        Pass the popcorn.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        And trollbart, who likes to hypocritically and snidely correct other people’s grammar on the chron (and even his buddy buzzy here), the correct term is “foolhardy”, NOT “fool hearty” [sic].

        Though if you were referring to yourself then I can understand your usage as you have proven THAT time and again.

        But you weren’t, were you, “fool hearty” trollbart?

        http://www.foolhearty.com/main.html

        On my second bucket of popcorn…

      • Bart-1 says:

        Since migrants from California is not specified for Texas in the NY Times charts (right side OR left) it is impossible to accurately make any definitive conclusion regarding separate states like California, that JohnofGaunt was claiming, where the survey I gave did of what percent came from California are currently here.The chart DID support a conclusion that states like Florida, Nevada, and Arizona have much lower %’s of native born population. As far as the personal attacks. your insults are actually pretty mild and less hate filled than usual. they don’t bother me. You can’t help yourself. ““I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”
        ― Margaret Thatcher

      • John Galt says:

        I have a pretty simple explanation for the preponderance of Californians in Texas. There are more of them. California, then NY, then IL are the highest population states (other than TX). People migrate out of every state; if there were more people to start with the numbers of migrants will naturally be larger.

      • Bart-1 says:

        JG, I originally said that besides being large states, taking population into account.The question I asked that so far only Tutt has even attempted to answer is why people are leaving states like Illinois, NY, and California for states like Texas, Nevada, Florida, and Arizona more than moving there now than say 50 years ago? I thought the other Chronicle slideshow about how the residents like the states they live in was also interesting. Any comments, other than it’s a “fluff poll”?

      • Bart-1 says:

        JG, did you mean to leave out Florida? Illinois is barely hanging on to 5th most populated. I’m not sure you can dismiss the population changes as, “People migrate out of every state; if there were more people to start with the numbers of migrants will naturally be larger.” Texas and Florida are half the 4 largest, but I don’t see them represented at all as our migrating population to other states. do you? The numbers are a sum of migrants OUT as opposed to migrants IN. The states JohnofGaunt listed (South and West)have had almost a 20% increase in population since 2000 while states in the NorthEast and Midwest have hardly grown at all or LOST population.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Okay trollbart so you now insist on quadrupling down or your ignorance, stupidity, and reading comprehension? Your choice of poison.

        First of all, don’t try to change the goalposts when proven wrong. Data from 1900 is not an issue in a chronological chart.

        Trollbart misstated, “If you want to look at a Curennt [sic] Gallup Poll of where people living in Texas are from, California is by far the biggest, followed by Illinois, and NY.”

        Nope. The Gallup poll was a fluff OPINION piece. Right at the top of the masthead:

        “Gallup asked approximately 600 adults in each of the 50 states to rate how their state fares as a place to live.”

        Misread your own source AGAIN trollbart.

        And you are misrepresenting what John of Gault said in a pathetically vain and failed attempt at appearing “smarter” than him.

        You misrepresented by falsely and sloppily stating, “Since migrants from California is [sic] not specified for Texas in the NY Times charts (right side OR left) it is impossible to accurately make any definitive conclusion regarding separate states like California, that JohnofGaunt was claiming,“

        Yes it WAS trollbart. You are WRONG. Again.

        If you had taken the time to read and research rather than knee jerk attack trollbart, You would read this, RIGHT BELOW THE FIRST CHART AT THE TOP:

        “Here’s much more detail about California’s exodus.”

        And this is verbatim what John of Gault said:

        “Interesting how the vast majority of people who live in Texas grew up here. You often hear how ‘everyone’s moving to Texas’ but the population is still largely local, especially when compared to other Sunbelt states like Florida, Arizona, Nevada, etc. Also, despite the common trope that ‘Californians are moving to Texas because it is too liberal/expensive/crazy/etc.’ it seems that very few people from California are moving to Texas when compared to states from the Midwest and South.”

        And if you HAD taken the time to delve further and click on the link with details of California emigration, you would read this (with comprehension, of course) supporting JofG’s point:

        “Texas is the largest receiver of migrants from California, but Texas is also the nation’s second-most populous state, and so only 2.6 percent of people living in Texas were born in California. The California exodus has been far more significant in the more lightly populated states of the West, where people born in California now represent a huge share of the population.”

        And their chart showing where Californians are as a percentage of the state’s population, Nevada is first (as JofG stated) with 19% and Texas isn’t even in the top 14 states because “only 2.6 percent of people living in Texas were born in California”.

        Trollbart bart fail yet again at reading comprehension, understanding data, and trolling for a fight.

        And what was that you said trollbart about “The ‘reams of hard data’ being applied to the current population as JofG was trying to do is what is terrible statistical analysis. Statistical application must be relevant when referenced. To believe that the percentages of those living in states during the depression is meaningful is fool hearty [sic]. You are well aware of the famous line about statistics when misused.”

        Yes we are well aware trollbart. Especially when it is ”YOU who is persistently “misusing (and misreading) statistics” time and again.

        Trollbart misstated, “If you want to look at a Curennt [sic] Gallup Poll of where people living in Texas are from, California is by far the biggest, followed by Illinois, and NY.”

        Nope. The Gallup poll was a fluff piece. Right at the top of the masthead:

        “Gallup asked approximately 600 adults in each of the 50 states to rate how their state fares as a place to live.”

        Misread your own source again trollbart.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        And furthermore to Chris point trollbart, YouGov is an OPT-IN survey. You DO know what that means right “supersmart” trollbart?

        It is a NON RANDOM standing membership sample. And the damn survey was 99.999% political with ONE self reported population census question.

        And looky here “supersmart” trollbart, a “disclaimer” from YouGov’s OWN website:

        “Sample matching is a methodology for selection of “representative” samples from non-randomly selected pools of respondents.”

        “You are well aware of the famous line about statistics when misused”, right trollbart?

      • objv says:

        The following link gives a more comprehensive look at migration out of California.

        http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_71.htm#.U-6pBmNeJ8E

        My husband is a native Californian and his parents still make their home in the Sacramento area. We lived in Orange County from 2000 to 2002. Of all his assignments in the US, I enjoyed California the most (New Jersey the least).

        Still, when we talk about places to retire, California is not on the list for some of the reasons mentioned in the link. High cost of living, high taxation, and overcrowding make California a less desirable location compared to other states.

      • Bart-1 says:

        Stay classy Bubba. name calling is what you are reduced to in every discussion we have. No obscenities this time? quite an improvement! I guess someone is wrong. Must be the Texas Tribune. That’s what I get for using a slideshow from the Chronicle reporting a poll from a Liberal group. Here is the 15% figure they received (on page 23). I highly doubt the 2.6% figure is accurate since they claim to have a statistical errors margin of 3%. But they are a “givernment” funded group so, I can just mark it down to tax dollars ‘well spent” and should have remembered the words of George Carlin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_zwB6GLpo4

      • Bart-1 says:

        Thank you Objv. That was what I was asserting all along, JohnofGaunt75. Take it up with The Manhattan Institute. (another right-wing think tank that they will probably just ignore).

      • bubbabobcat says:

        On that is rich, trollbart. Now you are resorting to “what she said” to save your ass and “please ignore the dozens of nonsensical crap posts I (trollbart) made”.

        Really? That’s all you have left trollbart?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Let’s see, first trollbart whines:

        Bart-1 says:
        August 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm
        “one [sic] is a compilation of over a century. I’ll take the survey as more relevant.”

        And when disproven about the relevance of data “a century old”, bart flip flops to OV’s hackneyed “data”…that ends in 2010.

        The NY Times census survey goes to 2012.

        Sooooooo trollbart, what happened to “I’ll take the survey as more relevant”? You’ll take whatever crap supports your meme no matter how inaccurate or hypocritical it is as you cherry pick garbage “data”.

        And speaking of crap data (didn’t think anyone was going to read it, did you trollbart?), OV’s “data” uses older IRS data.

        And looky here again, ANOTHER “data” caveat/admission:

        “This IRS information is not a perfect tool. It leaves out students, low-income persons, the elderly, and others who may not file income-tax returns, and it does not track moves associated with first-time or final filings. For these reasons, it does not produce as high a total for net migration from California as the Census figures do.”

        So they OPENLY admit it is NOT AS ACCURATE and older than Chris’ census data trollbart dismissed. Trollbart picking through MORE garbage “data” yet again to appear “right”. And failing yet again of course.

        Keep it up trollbart. Popcorn futures are soaring just from the entertainment of watching you continue to self immolate.

      • objv says:

        Bubba, A great deal of the information and charts in the report use US Census data. The last time a census was taken was 2010. Since a census is only taken every ten years, the information shown will in all likelihood not be updated again until 2020.

        The quote you used only applied to the smaller amount of information from part of the IRS data and did not apply to to the information from the US Census and other sources.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Nice try OV. The “part I quoted” using what the authors openly admitted was incomplete IRS data EXCLUSIVELY was the gist of trollbart’s argument. The “data” on migration from California to other states, particularly Texas was from the IRS data only.

        So my original point stands up to scrutiny and yours and trollbart’s do not.

        Trollbart is cherrypicking and flipflopping on whether “more recent” or more accurate data is relevant or not. Depending on whether or not it agrees with his hate rant.

        And trollbart already dismissed the US Census data in the NYT article as “not recent enough”. So unless these guys are time travelers or clairvoyants and have 2020 data, it’s the same damn US Census data trollbart already dismissed as “too outdated”.

        So you have confirmed your “data” was too old according to trollbart and in addition, the relevant data was also self admittedly incomplete by the authors and not as accurate as the “outdated” census data trollbart already dismissed. It’s lose-lose for both of you.

        But thank you for playing OV and inadvertently confirming trollbart hypocritically whined out of both sides of his mouth yet again.

        So he can futilely denigrate what I say all he wants but let’s see trollbart extricate himself from underneath the bridge and a hard place that YOU unwittingly put him in.

      • John Galt says:

        Bubba, you seem a little more worked up about this than the subject of how many Californians are leaving the state would seem to warrant.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        If you can’t tell by now JG, I have issue with the messenger and not necessarily any particular issue of the moment he manages to mangle, manipulate, and misrepresent.

  3. tuttabellamia says:

    Ok, who here besides Cap and me is a native Texan? Let’s see a show of hands.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Nope, New Yawker.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      My Mom and Dad are both native Texans (from San Antonio and Houston). I was born during my father’s Navy career, in the San Francisco Bay area. To family horrified at a grandchild’s birth outside Texas, my mother responded, “Just because the cat had kittens in the oven, that don’ make ’em biscuits!” I’ve been in Texas over twenty years now, and my folks retired back into the state several years ago, too.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        So, the answer is no.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        By birthplace, no; by lineage, yes.

      • objv says:

        Owl: Ha! Mary Cooper, Sheldon’s mom, must have been channeling your mom. She said the same thing on Big Bang Theory. Do you also call your grandma Meemaw?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        objv — Nope. We called my father’s mother “Abuelita” and her sister “Tia”. Of course, my great-aunt’s descendants used the names the other way around, so family reunions occasionally required a bit of mental translation. My paternal grandfather passed away while I was an infant.

        My mother’s mother was nicknamed “Abe” because (ahem) her future husband noticed she had a rather large nose. I had no idea of the ethnic slur involved until years after I’d become accustomed to calling her by the same moniker as everyone else did. My mother’s father also went by a nickname to everyone, including his grandchildren.

      • John Galt says:

        If you were born to Texan parents posted overseas (San Francisco counts as “overseas”, at least ideologically), then I think you’re a native Texan.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Heh. The Navy allows one to have an address of record (for purposes of driver’s licenses, state taxes, etc.) regardless of posting location. So my family had, continuously throughout my youth, a legal if not actual address in San Antonio.

        In that sense, I guess I never left. 🙂

      • objv says:

        Owl and JG … Wouldn’t that be using the Ted Cruz defense? (Just kidding!!!)

        I called both my grandmothers in Germany “Oma” My nieces and nephews, on my side of the family, call me “Tante”. If and when my kids have children, I’ll probably be “Oma” although I wouldn’t object to either MeeMaw or Abuelita.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Owl, you are a Californian, DUDE.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Just kidding, Owl. You are whatever you want to be.

      • objv says:

        Far out, Tutt, but did you mean he can be a Californian or a Texan … or a dude?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, if Owl wants to say he’s an Oklahoman, that’s “OK,” too. His gender is in the eye of the beholder (not too close up, I hope). Maybe a bird’s eye view.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        As long as he doesn’t call himself an EXPAT. You know how I feel about that word.

    • rightonrush says:

      Grandma was 1/2 Mescalero-Apache so I consider myself a full blooded Texas. My folks have been here for eons.

    • texan5142 says:

      Native Texan, born and raised in Houston, left in spring of 1989 at the age of 27. Except for a three year stay in Graiger Texas around 1994 to 1997 , been living in St Peter Minnesota ever since.

    • rucasdad says:

      I am.

    • Turtles Run says:

      Native – Born in Houston and grew up in Laredo

    • John Galt says:

      Not I. Georgia, until I came to Houston for college, then left and came back again 11 years later.

    • flypusher says:

      Nope. Lived the semi-nomadic existence of the military family for the first 7 years of my life. The last move was to Central TX, so that’s where I claim to be from.

    • Crogged says:

      Born in Texas, but the skyscrapers are the tombstone for the Last Picture Show (which does a good job showing the rural/urban change via fiction).

  4. bubbabobcat says:

    “Hardly anybody moves to Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama except for people trying to escape one of the other two states in that list.”

    I think there’s a (sad) punchline in there somewhere…

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