Americans On The Move, But Where?

The March 22nd edition of The Wall Street Journal included a fascinating article, with map and data from the Census Bureau regarding shifts in population changes. Excluding immigration and births, these demographic changes are significant and can be boiled down to two primary forces: post-retirement relocations; and moves to suburbia from urban core areas.

Designated "retirement areas" are growing at twice the rate of the national average, while "central areas" are actually shrinking in some cities, but overall are growing less than half the rate of "outlying areas," in the suburbs.

In the entire country, Florida and Texas continue to attract the most retirees, with many "retirement destinations." Another swath of the country popular with retirees is in the southern Appalachians of western North Carolina, northern Georgia, and parts of Tennessee, in addition to several areas of the West. Conversely, the map clearly shows a "demographic relocation black hole" in central Appalachia, including virtually the entire state of West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, southwestern Virginia, and western Pennsylvania. Other low-relocation sites are less concentrated.

According to the Journal article, these data are fresh signs that the nation's 74 million baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, are on the move. In addition, the suburbs are drawing more Americans who are downsizing or being priced out of expensive urban cores, while pulling in well-educated millennials and younger Gen-Xers who are settling down to start families.

Rust belt areas continue to decline, with the counties containing Cleveland, Baltimore, and Chicago, respectively, losing the most residents in 2017. Conversely, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area gained nearly 150,000 residents last year alone! Six of the top ten largest-gaining counties in 2017 were in Texas.

J.K. (Jim) George

Author, Reunion and Contact Sport


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2 Responses

  1. I'm surprised that Texas attracts so many retirees, rivaling FL!
  2. Hi Melissa, When I visited Jim and Diana, with the building of new roads and bridges, I found it almost impossible to get anywhere near the city of Austin. This reminds me of El Paso, New Mexico, and its continual construction. As of now I find it hard to imagine retirees moving to Austin. However, my friends do enjoy a trip to Austin for its music and river paths. As a "transplant" to Albuquerque, I love the natives who are artistic and friendly. This city is filled with places to see and visit. God to chat with you, Mellissa. Hope you are doing well. Sally

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