Recent U.S. Migration Data
As a follow-up to James’ Candidates From Nowhere post yesterday, the Charlotte [NC] Observer has an interesting (time-wasting?) interactive graphic of US county-to-county moves (moves in and out of counties, though you have to toggle between the two) based on 2000-2005 IRS tax returns, confirming we are a mobile society. The data shows most moves are relatively local, such as from the urban areas to the suburbs or adjacent counties, but there are also interesting city-pairings such as Charlotte NC and Buffalo NY, a rust belt to warmer climate move. The accompanying article (reg req’d)
On the shores of Lake Erie, the city of Buffalo and other communities have withered.
Two-thirds of cities and towns in upstate New York lost population this decade…
Since its 1950s high, Buffalo’s population has declined by more than half, to around 280,000. Meanwhile, since 2000, Charlotte has added 46,000 residents. And now, an Observer analysis of new data from the Internal Revenue Service shows a significant chunk of upstate New York’s population has moved to the Charlotte region….
Why the Carolinas?
Better weather, for one. Also, it’s roughly a one-day drive from the upstate. In recent years, the pipeline of previously arrived friends and family members has also fueled the trend. Here, New York transplants become part of the growth pressures straining roads and schools and sparking retail and cultural development. Back home, their departures cause the opposite pressures, with governments struggling to cope with declining tax bases and theater companies closing.
There are even Upstate New York oriented restaurants establish in the Charlotte area. These aren’t just the traditional retirees moving south, but families and recent college graduates.
Looking at OTB’s “home” of Fairfax County, VA, the out-of-area immigrants come from large cities (LA, Boston), or areas of large military concentrations (San Diego, Honolulu, Virginia Beach, Cumberland NC (Fayetteville), Bexar TX (San Antonio)), with similar numbers returning to the counties with large military bases. Looking at adjacent Prince William County, home of Quantico Marine Corps Base, the top out-of-area sources of moves are from counties with Marine bases, Onslow NC (Camp Legune), San Diego (Camp Pendleton and MCAS Miramar, plus Navy), Virginia Beach (Dam Neck, Little Creek, and Navy), Honolulu (All Services).
The grass is not always greener elsewhere either, or people that are inclined to make a major move are more inclined to move again. Most locations I looked at had movements to and from Maricopa AZ (Phoenix) and Clark NV (Las Vegas), plus Queens NY (odd). Perhaps you can find patterns in your own county.