The U.S. Bureau of the Census released annual state population and migration estimates today (27 December 2007). This document provides detailed data and observations on the trends in domestic migration.
Domestic migration occurs when a person moves from one place in the United States to another. In this case, a domestic migrant moves from one state or the District of Columbia to another.
Moving to More Affordable States
There is continued net domestic migration to the more affordable (responsive planning) states from prescriptive planning states. This is evident in comparing the change in annual migration rates in 2007 compared to 2000-2001.
In 2000-2001, the responsive planning states had a net domestic migration loss of 48,000. By 2006-2007, there was a net domestic migration gain of 452,000.
In 2000-2001, the prescriptive planning states had a net domestic migration gain of 48,000. By 2006-2007, there was a net domestic migration loss of 452,000.
Among the prescriptive planning states, the higher cost states experienced an increase in net domestic migration loss from 246,000 to 677,000 between 2000-1 and 2006-7.
Among the prescriptive planning states, the “safety valve” states experience a reduction in net domestic migration gain from 295,000 in 2000-1 to 225,000 in 2006-7. Net domestic migration gain peaked at 503,000 in 2004-5 (Figure)
Overall, between 2000 and 2007, there was a strong movement away from the more unaffordable states.
The higher cost prescriptive planning states experienced a net domestic migration loss of 3,752,000.
The safety value prescriptive planning states experience a net domestic migration gain of 2,538,000.
The responsive planning states experienced a net domestic migration gain of 1,214,000.
Texas Emerges as the Top Destination
In 2006-7, Texas had the largest domestic migration gain, at 140,000. Texas had emerged as the top destination in 2005-6, principally due to the exodus of Katrina refugees from Louisiana (220,000). However, the Texas net domestic gain remained strong in 200607, at an annual rate more than tripling the 2000-1 migration gain. Texas has gained 580,000 domestic migrants since 2000. Between 2000 and 2005 Florida strongly led Texas in domestic migration gains, with 1,050,000, compared to the Texas figure of 210,000.
The End of Migration to Florida?
Perhaps the most significant news from the new data is that Florida’s domestic migration gains have nearly come to an end. During the first 6 years of the decade, Florida gained an average of more than 200,000 domestic migrants annually. In 2006-7, this figure declined to 35,000. Florida’s overall growth rate has also declined. Until 2006, it looked possible that Florida would grow quickly enough to replace New York as the nation’s third largest state after California and Texas. This would not occur if the growth rate of the last year continues.
Another #1 for California
California became the nation’s largest state in the late 1960s, passing New York, which had been the largest state since 1810. In the last two years, California has also displaced New York as the leader in net domestic migration loss (in 2006 and 2007). Since 2000, California has lost 1,200,000 domestic migrants, a population approximately equal to that of the city of San Diego.
Moving from Florida to North & South Carolina?
There has been much talk of the “half-backs,” Northerners who move to Florida and then move “halfway” back to North Carolina or South Carolina. Since 2000, North Carolina has gained approximately 500,000 domestic migrants and South Carolina has gained 225,000. In each case, the 2006-7 domestic migration gain was approximately three times the 2000-1 gain. The halfbacks have also discovered Tennessee, which has gained more than 200,000 domestic migrants and has had a similar increase in rate since 2000-1.