The states people really want to move to — and those they don’t – The Washington Post


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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34 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Some thoughts and observations:

    1. The states that seem to gain populations have weather that can be described as perpetually moderate/mild to moderate and mild to hot. States known for having very cold winters do not seem appealing to many people. As far as I can tell, most people would like to live in an area that has perfect May-June weather for most of the year or at least rarely goes under 55 degrees.

    2. Where are people moving out of in the States and who are they? California might be losing population but San Francisco gained nearly 60,000 people from 2010 to 2015. I am sure the greater Bay Area gained even more people during the same time frame. NYC gained nearly 400,000 people from 2010 to 2015. Even Philadelphia gained a modest 30,000 people from 2010 to 2015. What this implies or shows is that economic recovery since the recession has largely been concentrated in big cities and/or certain industries like tech and finance. So the less educated and more rural areas of places like California and New York are suffering from a drain while their cities are thriving and booming. This sort of cuts against red-state culture memes about how regulation and liberal politics are destroying blue-state economies. If anything, we are going to see more big sorting. California and New York will become more majority-minority and well-educated. Texas and Florida might become whiter and more Republican. Though both states have substantial Hispanic populations that are not leaving.Report

    • Anyone who moves to the south for the climate is nuts. Or old.

      This includes only internal migration. So international immigration into California and Texas don’t really show up.

      As far as where people are moving from and to, there’s a slightly outdated map that might help. San Francisco appears to be gaining people from the interior and between SF and LA, as well as the northeast and midwest, and losing people to other western states and Texas.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:


        My preferred weather would be 6-7 months of New England/Hudson Valley October, 1-2 months of early Northeast winter (roughly the weather you get from Thanksgiving to NYD) with the remainder being warm but not hot June weather.

        Most people seem to prefer warm to hot weather over cold weather with some exceptions. Even in ski and snowboard mad California, people like that you can generally go to the mountains and then go back to the beach.

        I know the maps are about internal migration but saying California lost people while Florida gained is not a complete picture in my mind. I want to know where people are moving from and where they are moving to in each state. Lots of people are moving to the Bay Area from abroad but there are also plenty of twenty-somethings moving after they finish college because they want to be in tech. Portland and Seattle also get a lot of people moving to those metro areas post-college probably.Report

        • Washington and Oregon as a whole are gaining people.

          This might be more up your alley:

          San Francisco in particular is gaining, as of ’14 anyway, though Los Angeles (along with most of California) is losing. This actually makes the South look a bit better as a whole.Report

        • As one of the regular commenters at LGM said when presented with a similar list of weather desires, “Well, then, it’s the Front Range you’ll be wantin’.” The weather is part of the reason the population has grown from 3.3M to 5.5M in the 28 years I’ve lived here. 50 miles east of Denver you’re far enough out on the Great Plains to get the big blizzards and tornadoes. 50 miles west of Denver (and a mile higher) and it’s South Park. But in the 10-mile-wide strip from the base of the foothills east…Report

          • Avatar Autolukos in reply to Michael Cain says:

            Stop telling people (at least until I can move back and buy a house)!Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Autolukos says:

              Just to clear up the record, as someone who lives on the Front Range, I can unequivocally say what Michael describes simply isn’t true. Our weather is a mixture of oppressive heat and humidity, constant torrential rain and dreary drizzles, cold as hell even in summer.. Horrible.

              Also, if you wanna move back you better either a) get after it – year over years where I live are +13-15%, or b) orchestrate a massive recession.Report

              • Back when I still thought something might stem the influx, if the Broncos were playing on Monday Night Football late in September, I would pray for one of those freak eight-hour snowstorms that looks terrible on TV, then all melts in the sunshine the next day.Report

              • We have you beat on the cold as hell even in summer front.Report

              • Avatar Autolukos in reply to Stillwater says:

                A couple of good friends just moved away from Denver because of the increasing cost of living; as a Bay Area resident, I checked housing prices and laughed bitterly at how cheap they looked. Things can go the way they’re going for a few more years before moving stops looking like a massive upgrade at the same cost.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

                The wife and i are actually in Colo at this very minute. We’re thinking of moving here so we are going to spend a few day on the front range checking it out then a week up in breakenridge with the in laws. AK may be going south so to speak due to budget problems the Leg may refuse to fix and we want a bit more. I’m not sure there is enough winter though here unless we live at 10k which might not work.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak says:

                AK’s coming south! Man, that’s a big move. Are you looking at houses or just checking out the terrain?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

                Just looking for good areas. We arent’ ready to buy or sell for that matter but very maybe next year. We gotta find the place that works for us. I love to xc ski and lots of other outdoor stuff so we need that to be plentiful. The wife will Zillo some houses i’m sure but we aren’t set about where to go. With all our desires we have eliminated like 99.99% of the country.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak says:

                Well, good luck finding something you like in the Denver area. And Summit County is pretty dang nice, too, if you can find work up there.Report

              • Don’t just stick to “Denver” either. Depending on what you’re looking for, Fort Collins may be a possibility (despite its size, much more of a small-town feel). Colorado Springs is farther south but higher, so up into the foothills there is a completely different thing (Maribou and Jaybird should chime in here). A good friend used to live in Nederland, which is another different sort of thing (no place that has Frozen Dead Guy Days can be all bad, and they have a lot more winter there despite being only 20-25 minutes from Boulder).Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Michael Cain says:

                We’re going to check out Colorado Springs and Ft Collins. I think they are more likely places then the immediate denver suburbs.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Michael Cain says:

                I love Boulder.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Michael Cain says:

                I’m going to Boulder for 3 days this summer for work. Any tips?Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Kazzy says:

                Ask @stillwater ; since I retired I seldom get up to Boulder. As a college town that also has plenty of trustafarians, you can find all sorts of cool stuff. What’s happening can be affected a lot by which week you’re there.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Yeah, I don’t even know anymore. There used to be all sorts of cool music joints and divey bars and whatnot, but those are all gone now. I think what people mostly do in Boulder now is spend money on food and booze.Report

              • There’s the usual Boulder stuff. Chautauqua if they’re doing something of interest. The summer Shakespeare festival if they’re doing a comedy outdoors. Boulder Theater, depending on who’s playing. Beer and fries at Mountain Sun (where just deciding on which fresh beer is always an adventure). I like NOAA, but I’m a part-time weather geek. A rock climbing lesson in El Dorado Canyon if you arrange ahead? Stroll along Boulder Creek, where they build million-dollar condos cantilevered over a flash flood zone? I know people who love blowing money at Flagstaff House just for the evening view.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Perfect! All those are fun things to do.Report

              • Avatar Autolukos in reply to Kazzy says:

                If you have a full day free, head up to Rocky Mountain National Park.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Autolukos says:

                Or a free night a show at Red Rocks.Report

              • Avatar Autolukos in reply to Stillwater says:

                Yes, absolutely. Depends a lot on who’s playing, of course.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to greginak says:

                When I moved from WI to WA, I worried that I would miss winter as well.

                I didn’t. It’s a 45 minute drive to the snow line, at most. I love being able to go to snow when I want it, instead of having to clean it off my car and shovel it from my walks.Report

              • Avatar Aaron Warfield in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Ha, you obviously live in a different part of WA than I lived in (14 feet of snow in the winter…Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Aaron Warfield says:

                Yep, IssaquahReport

              • Avatar Aaron Warfield in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Hmm… Aint no party like a Pullman party! (seriously, negitive 40 one year)Report

          • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Michael Cain says:

            Yeah but as the days get short the sun disappears behind that range way too fast for my taste.Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Joe Sal says:

              OTOH, you get a gorgeous sunset more often than not. My sister got upset with me when she was visiting one summer and when she said the sunset was gorgeous I was all, “Meh. It’ll happen again tomorrow.”

              Plus the monsoon-season late-afternoon rainbows…Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Will Truman says:

        “Anyone who moves to the south for the climate is nuts. Or old”

        Well, my folks did retire to the south, but the picked an area near a high tech with rising employment bases. Close to hospitals, airport, and the leisure life they wanted. They got it. Not much humidity either for being in the SE. Hell, I thought of looking for work there too. Lots of good lookin womenzReport

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      1) Acclimation.

      2). Insufficient data to draw such a conclusion.
      The conclusion inappropriately substitutes “employment data” for “economies.”

      Really, I don’t think there is enough data there to make a valid generalization.
      It’s more a snapshot.Report