New York, Ohio and New Jersey are the top three in a competition they might have wanted to lose.
Where are we going? To the importance of being able to move.
Where Do We Move?
Using data from 77,705 interstate and cross border moves, the Atlas Group tells us that we can associate inbound migration with Texas and North Carolina while we are leaving NY, Ohio, NJ and Indiana:
Curious since NJ is my home state, I checked to see where my neighbors were going. The Florida “stream” seems to be growing.
In the following NY Times graphics, geographic areas are color-coded:
Meanwhile, as a destination, Texas draws people from the South and Midwest.
This is the big picture:
Why Do We Move?
The US Census tells us that interstate moves primarily have a jobs-related reason. A closer to home move is more typically caused by a change in housing. Below, displaying the dominance of local moves, housing was the main reason people relocated:
Our Bottom Line: One Market
Yes, states vary but still, as a “dollar zone,” the U.S. makes moving easy. So too does a single fiscal policy that provides the same Medicare and Social Security dollars, no matter where we live.
To see how we got here, we can start with the 19th century and a transportation infrastructure of roads, canals and then railroads that moved people and goods. With midwestern farming, southern cotton and northeastern manufacturing, each of us could do what we did best and then trade. Because each section of the country was producing what it was most suited to, we enjoyed the benefits of comparative advantage.
Now again we continue to enjoy the positive externalities of state-to-state migration. Being able to move freely across the vast expanse of the U.S. means households and businesses make production and distribution decisions that can allocate land, labor and capital most efficiently.
Perhaps people are leaving NY and NJ for the economic efficiency they can enjoy elsewhere?