I find studies like this to be fascinating:
The continuing economic downturn has drastically altered the internal migration habits of Americans, turning the flood of migrants into the Sun Belt and out of states like New York, Massachusetts and California into a relative trickle, an analysis of recent federal data confirms.
Essentially, millions of Americans have become frozen in place, researchers say, unable to sell their homes and unsure they would find jobs elsewhere anyway.
An analysis of new data from the Census Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service by the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire confirms earlier census assessments of a migration slowdown, but also offers a deeper, state-by-state look at the impact of this shift, which upends, however temporarily, a migration over decades from the snowy North to the sunny South.
The institute’s study compared three years’ worth of data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which was released early Thursday and covered 2008-10, with the data from 2005-7. Since the survey’s findings are released in three-year increments, this was the first time that researchers had a set of data that included only years since the financial collapse began, allowing them to make a direct comparison to a similar period before the collapse.
Using this and other data from the I.R.S. that many researchers consider even more comprehensive, they found that migration into formerly booming states like Arizona, Florida and Nevada began to slow as soon as the recession hit and continued to shrink even into 2010, when many demographers expected it to level off. At the same time, Massachusetts, New York and California, which had been hemorrhaging people for years, and continued to do so in the three years before the financial collapse, suddenly saw the domestic migration loss shrink by as much as 90 percent.
What I think is most interesting is that Nevada and Florida were two of the states hit the hardest by the real estate bubble. How much of the pre-recession growth was chasing bubble money? And I guess the bigger question is how does this all play out- it is hard to “Go where the jobs are” if you are permanently stuck with a house you can’t sell and can’t afford to abandon.