The Tonka Report

Real News In A Changing World

Top 10 States Americans Are Leaving And Where They Are Moving

with 4 comments

December 11, 2010: Jenna Goudreau / via Yahoo News – December 8, 2010

“We’re seeing one of the lowest mobility rates in a century,” says Nathaniel Karp, chief economist for banking firm BBVA Compass. Karp says the recession has forced many people to stay put because they are unable to sell their homes, cannot find jobs or are unwilling to relocate for work if it means sacrificing a partner’s stable position.

The slowdown makes the question of who’s moving and why even more significant than in years past. Using 2010 projections by Moody’s, Forbes ranked the states in which people are leaving faster than they are arriving. Economists report several overlapping trends that may be forcing people out of certain states as much as they are pulling them toward others.

At No.1 on our list, New York is expected to wave goodbye to 49,000 more people than it gains this year. The state has seen a steady loss of residents over the past five years, losing an average of 100,000 people per year. Karp explains that, because New York is a large state, it may report greater movement than others, but notes that population size is not the only reason residents are fleeing.

“In order to move, you need to be able to sell your home,” says Karp. “The housing market [in New York] has not gone through the meltdown that other states have gone through.”

While New York homeowners may have a slightly easier time selling their homes and moving to greener pastures, a competing trend is the number of unemployed renters who can no longer afford the high cost of living in and around New York City. Karp says the expensive lifestyle and high taxes may force the long-term unemployed to move on to more affordable regions.

The Prairie State came in at No. 2. Illinois is expected to lose 27,000 people this year, consistent with its average annual loss over the last five years. The losses are likely linked to the state’s economy and tax structure. Job losses in manufacturing and industrial machinery are likely pushing people out of the state, Karp says, adding that state taxes have also been “an issue” for many residents.

Midwestern states, in fact, are well-represented in the top-10 list. Nebraska (No. 4), Kansas (No. 5) and North Dakota (No. 9) are among the many central states projected to lose residents in 2010.

The movement may be related to broader structural changes. “For most of the decade people have been moving to the South and Southwest,” says Kenneth Johnson, a demographer and professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. He believes the trend is closely related to life cycle: Retirees are attracted to states with temperate climates, affordable costs of living, good health care and pretty scenery. For these reasons, Florida and Arizona are expected to receive an influx of hundreds of thousands of people this year.

At the same time, young people in search of jobs may move to the regions to work in services and high tech, says Karp. Texas and North Carolina are home to some of the largest public companies in the country, like Exxon Mobil and Bank of America, and are also among the top-five most attractive states this year.

At least two states in the top 10 are victims of unfortunate circumstances. Louisiana (No. 7) and Mississippi (No. 10) are both expected to lose residents this year. In 2006, the year after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, almost 300,000 people left Louisiana and nearly 20,000 moved out of Mississippi. The projected losses this year, though much milder, could be related to the impact of the BP oil spill.

Though specific conditions are pushing people out of some states, economists say more people moving around would be a positive sign for the economy. “Mobility makes it easier to respond to economic cycles,” says Karp. “People are still living in places where there are no jobs. That’s one of [the] reasons why the unemployment rate remains really high.”

Top 5 States People Are Fleeing

No. 1: New York

Projected Loss: 49,000 people

Population: 19.7 million

Percentage Change: -0.25%

The Big Apple may lose more people than it gains in 2010 because of the depressed job market, high cost of living and an ongoing trend of retirees and job-seekers heading to the South and Southwest.

No. 2: Illinois

Projected Loss: 27,000 people

Population: 13 million

Percentage Change: -0.21%

Economist Nathaniel Karp says Illinois’ tax structure and loss of manufacturing jobs may be pushing people out of the state this year.

No. 3: Ohio

Projected Loss: 8,900 people

Population: 11.6 million

Percentage Change: -0.08%

Over the last five years Ohio has lost an average of about 30,000 people per year. This year its losses are projected to slow, but remain significant enough to put the state at No. 3.

No. 4: Nebraska

Projected Loss: 5,900 people

Population: 1.8 million

Percentage Change: -0.33%

Nebraska has seen steady losses since 2001. The projected number of people leaving the state this year is particularly high when considering its small population.

No. 5: Kansas

Projected Loss: 4,200 people

Population: 2.9 million

Percentage Change: -0.14%

The Census Bureau reports modest gains for Kansas since 2007. The losses expected this year are similar to those seen in the earlier part of the decade, when the state lost an average of 4,500 per year.

Click On Link Below For Top 10 States People Are Leaving In Pictures:

Should I Stay Or Should I Go

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: After 7 months here in Chicago, I for one am returning to Florida! – SJH 

Link to original article below…

4 Responses

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  1. If you are more of a slob who likes to hang out in a noisy sports bar, to eat at crappy chain restaurants, and to follow national sports teams religiously, then why bother with Chicago. You could be just as happy living in Paducah, KY or somewhere else in the weeds.

    Chicago is the Paris of the entire Midwest: Nice restaurants, Theatre, Museums, Fine Arts, and culture of all kinds, etc. It is a *wonderful* place – But culture comes with a price. Can you pay it?

    Major disadvantages: High property taxes, and awful traffic.

    and here:

    Bourgoise Pig

    December 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm

  2. Bourgoise Pig,

    I’ve lived everywhere from San Francisco to Manhattan, Minneapolis to Houston, Seattle to Tampa Bay, Phoenix to Puerto Rico and from San Diego to Baltimore to name just a few…

    “…culture of all kinds…”

    Chicago now leads the nation in heroin use, is notorious for rampant government corruption, homelessness, gang activity, murder, and its unconstitutional gun laws, not to mention the utterly mindless Chicago sports fans here.

    If that’s your idea of a “culture of all kinds,” I suggest you actually go visit Paris, or at the very least, Manhattan and San Francisco…

    Chicago is no “Paris” of anywhere! Rather, it’s aptly known as the second city to everywhere…

    – SJH

    Steven John Hibbs

    December 11, 2010 at 3:56 pm

  3. I have always thought that the term “Second City” meant it was second to New York in stature. A smaller, kinder, gentler version of it, perhaps? I cannot tolerate East Coast rudeness.

    Nope, I will not defend the rampant corruption of Chicago. You are absolutely correct. However, it is a great place to visit if you have a comfortable home in a desirable suburb and are interested in doing/seeing something in the city other than following the Chicago Bears or Cubs….

    It is sad that most of the jobs in IL (that still exist) and all the economic and political power of the state is in Chicago. Downstate IL rots.
    Illinois is bankrupt.

    More fun:

    A couple of concerns:

    How to reconcile being a Northern “Yankee” if moving to the South. Many areas are still fighting the Civil War. And the severe humidity is unbearable.

    Never been to Florida (yet). I have heard it is filled with boat people, and that Florida natives are fleeing southern FL for the northern part of the state. What to do in (expensive) Florida if the beaches remained poisoned? The nice beaches would be the reason for me to want to move there.

    Bourgoise Pig

    December 11, 2010 at 6:01 pm

  4. Bourgoise Pig,

    Technically you are absolutely correct, “Second City” is in reference to being the second city to New York, New York – the City so nice they named it twice.

    However, in reality, after all my travels, there are several other cities that better deserve that title, San Francisco topping the list having lived there for nearly 2 years, with Seattle close behind, having lived there for 2 years as well.

    A kinder, gentler version of New York? The people here in Chicago are every bit as rude, self-centered, narcissistic, arrogant and completely clueless to reality as anywhere else I have ever lived.

    As I walk the streets here I see nothing but people with their heads glued to their IPads in complete denial of the real world around them. It’s absolutely pathetic and a sad narrative of today’s society!

    Two people have already frozen to death in Chicago this December. One in their garage, another in a park. You don’t die from severe humidity if you drink fluids to keep hydrated. And by the way, this summer here was no less unbearable than any I’ve ever experienced in 15 years in Florida.

    Look, I’ve lived a total of 10 years in Illinois throughout my life, including Chicago twice before, so I’m no virgin to the region, state, or city. My point is that there is a whole other world out there to explore and see.

    There is no Civil War being fought in Florida, nor is it full of “boat people” or the rare Florida “native” fleeing for the north. Is there rascism and class division? Please tell me where that isn’t the case and I’ll move there tomorrow.

    Are many of the beautiful beaches now poisoned? Sadly, yes. However, there are many yankees as well as rebs, Americans, who are all banding together to fight this crime against both nature and humanity.

    I’ve done all the big cities, Manhattan being my favorite having lived there for 6 years, and I’ve lived all over this country from Fargo to Flagstaff, but I always go back to the warm waters and white sands of the Gulf of Mexico. Why? Peace…

    – SJH

    Steven John Hibbs

    December 12, 2010 at 12:55 am

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