The Great Migration — America Heads South
Author: Greg Valliere
March 7, 2019
LET’S CHANGE THE SUBJECT: With the Democrats
bogged down, incredibly, over anti-Semitism and Republicans defecting in droves
against President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, this might be a
good time to focus on a different theme: the increasing migration of Americans
from the Northeast to the South.
IT’S ALMOST TOO EASY to pick on the Northeast, with its high taxes and crumbling infrastructure and frigid winters, but the numbers don’t lie — the Northeast has lost at least 200,000 residents per year for the past three years, according to data released late last year by the Census Bureau. In the most recent year’s data, a staggering 352,000 residents left the Northeast in 2017-18.
THE GREATEST MIGRATION HAS BEEN OUT OF NEW YORK: Some of this is a move by young couples out of New York City, but the entire Tri-State region has suffered from a migration to the South, with New Jersey losing 57,000 residents in a one-year period ending last summer. Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania also have experienced significant out-migration. Only New Hampshire — which has neither a sales tax nor an income tax — has enjoyed an uptick.
WHERE ARE THEY GOING? According to Census data, of the nearly 600,000 people who have left the Northeast in the past three years, about two-thirds have migrated to the South. Not surprisingly, Florida — which has no income tax — has enjoyed the largest surge. Other areas of the South — Charlotte, Nashville, etc. — are booming.
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS? There are two obvious ones: first, this is hardly good news for real estate in much of the Northeast; second, this trend will have a significant political impact as electoral vote totals change and House redistricting occurs after the 2020 census.
BASED ON TRENDS from the first two-thirds of this decade, demographers think Texas may gain three electoral votes, giving the state 42 votes, with Florida gaining two, giving it 31 votes. Several states may lose an electoral vote, including New York, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and even Rhode Island.
WITH MORE HOUSE DISTRICTS AND ELECTORAL VOTES, would the South look even more favorable for conservatives? Probably, but that’s not an easy call because these states have increasing percentages of Hispanic voters, many of whom are alienated from the Trump Administration. The more likely political scenario is a loss of clout for the Northeast, which generally supports more liberal candidates.
WHAT PROMPTED US TO WRITE ABOUT THIS? News this morning that New Jersey’s governor is proposing a “millionaire’s tax,” as states in the Northeast scramble for new sources of revenues — including “user fees” on just about everything — to pay for new spending. Policies have consequences; people vote with their feet, or moving vans.
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