Cool interactive map from, looking at the cities Americans are moving to- — and from.

Forbes doesn’t go into the qualitative factors, but one would imagine it includes things like employment opportunities, social options, housing costs, taxes, etc.


Manhattan: Young people move in, older marrieds move out


click thru for Detroit, LA and Seattle

Detroit: (Everyone Out of the Pool!)


Seattle: So that’s Where everyone else went!


Los Angeles: Last person out of Cali please turn off the lights!


And for those of you who blame high California taxes for their exodus, how do you explain Miami ?

Category: Economy, Travel

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

29 Responses to “America: Where Are You Moving From?”

  1. rktbrkr says:

    It looks like everyone moves FAR when they move!

    Detroit is becoming a ghost town

  2. Gatsby says:

    Cool. Click on Long Island…YIKES!

  3. [...] interactive migration graphs.  (Forbes also Big Picture, Free [...]

  4. Marcus says:

    This type of graphic would be very useful for urban planners. I would like to see a graphic of inflows-outflows from our State.

    North Carolina has the highest gasoline tax in the lower 48, high sales taxes, high income tax and astronomical property tax.

    Plus I have paid over $4K in nuisance taxes this year (e.g., Your car’s license plate sticker is out of date, says the local cop who stopped me twice). The first time it was a new Ford with an out-of-date sticker from the car lot, never mind that I had paid all of the expensive fees and the State had not mailed me the sticker, pay the fines. Another time the State had not sent the sticker on another car (all fees paid and up-to-date) but the local police had a computer failure and could not verify the status of my payment. So I had to hire a lawyer to get the false ticket thrown out, else my insurance rates would go up. Serve and protect!!!

    We often see bumper stickers that say:

    “If you love taxes, you will love North Carolina”.

    I think this message could be shortened, “North Carolina is for lovers, tax lovers.”

    These charts clearly show demographics of population migration. Bravo to the graphic artist who did these representations.

  5. Chief Tomahawk says:

    Love the disproportionate red streaks pointed to Florida. Think the Tampa Bay Devil Rays aren’t happy to be in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox?

  6. gordongekko00 says:

    Go Seattle.

  7. ashpelham2 says:

    For all the people leaving sunny Los Angeles, that sure is a big-ass inflow from the mid-west and northeast. Any, oh my, doesn’t my neighbor two hours to my east (Atlanta) get a lot of traffic?

  8. Cynic_FA says:

    I take offense when people say that Detroit is a ghost town. The only people who left Michigan are the college graduates looking for work and the affluent elderly looking for sun and low taxes.

    Some of the unemployed did leave, but only those that really like to work (or eat).

    99% of our state and local employees are still here, and the State of Michigan gave out a 3% cost of living raise this year.

    And!!!!!!! Tom Izzo is staying as the coach of Michigan State Basketball

  9. rktbrkr says:

    Actually I said Detroit is BECOMING a ghost town – it’s a work in progress when when those new Fiat plants start building Euro-Chryslers the tide will turn

  10. rktbrkr says:

    Nice to know it’s the IRS thats tracking our movements

  11. ashpelham2 says:

    I can see how easy it would be for the IRS to track that information. It’s simply part of the electronic data they collect. No one can live in these United States and avoid being part of the “numbers game” for very long. Even Eric Robert Rudolph eventually got caught, and I’ve been in those woods he lived in. If you want to hide, that’s the place to do it.

    Not surprised at all that Izzo is staying at MSU. Good on him. Anybody think he and his buddy Nick Saban had a conversation in the past week?

  12. Cynic_FA says:

    @rktbrkt ” Nice to know it’s the IRS thats tracking our movements”

    Wow! I missed the source tag. That could have been the headline for the piece “IRS is watching you, even in your new hometown!”

    RE:Ghost town. I saw a study which said that 90% of the incoming freshman at Michigan State are Michigan residents and 50% of all Michigan State graduates leave the state to find work. This is one of the pieces of annectdotal evidence that I use when I refer to the Michigan Economy as being in a fifty year “Ice Age”. Michigan has badly trailed the rest of the country since 1980 when the Iran oil crisis accelerated the decline of the Big Three (now little ford and the two patients in the government ICU)

    How will the State ever return to growth when we send our best college students out of state after graduation? Maybe 50 year ice age is too optimistic.

  13. Chief Tomahawk says:

    Seattle: Helps when you had all those WaMu mortgage affordibility products to lure folks in. Too bad it’s VASTLY overbuilt. Those condo towers are going to become nightmares… first the weakest hands fold, leaving the rest with a smaller pool to pay the association dues. That forces more folks out and so on. Lots of those buildings have futures as rental properties, at rent prices much less than what the going market rate is.

  14. Chief Tomahawk says:

    On Detroit, is the thin black line sailors from Newport Beach, Va., heading to Detroit for the strip clubs?

  15. James says:

    FYI, the charts are based on county, not city data. So, Seattle is really King County . . . a not so slight distortion by Forbes. KC has over 1.9 million population vs. .58 million or so for Seattle, and has many fast growing areas including Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland and other urban/suburban areas north, south and east of the city proper.

  16. TakBak04 says:

    Looks like a lot of “outflow” from Florida into the Carolinas. Retirees? Also outflow from NY that seems to go to the Carolinas.

    Could this be a trend? What would an oil spill hitting the East Coast of Florida and the Carolinas do to change that trend? Would Seattle or Arizona benefit? Or would folks figure they better off staying in NJ and NY…for the clean beaches….and suffer the higher taxes.

  17. Marcus says:

    If the trend is a move from Florida and NY to Carolina, they are in for a big surprise.

    Red necks and high taxes, quite a combination.

  18. Jojo says:

    This is a cool map!

    In case some haven’t tried this, you can also drill down into individual counties. But first expand the map section by using the + button on the upper left side.

  19. aypay says:

    As a Florida “ex-pat” I can tell you that none of my young co-workers from my last job (ca. 2000) in FL (we all grew up there) are still there. They are all in GA and NC. All the real estate nonsense in FL drove prices sky high (from $60k-$100k for a house up to $400k for a house) without anyone’s salaries going up. FL was ahead of the curve on this, so the young workers abandoned ship and moved North (to the South) for a better standard of living. This is still going on to a great extent since GA prices are still lower than FL, not to mention many of the late 90s and post Y2K arrivees had jobs in real estate and other now-busted industries. Combined with IBM, Siemens, and Motorola all slashing work forces and you get what you see on that graph. Everyone out.

    Also, I liked how you can see the old residents of Seattle being displaced into the nearby counties by the arriving hoards as a little red “splat” around King’s county.

  20. vachon says:

    Miami? A lot of them simply went to the west coast of Florida, blaming traffic and crime for the move.

  21. TakBak04 says:


    After living in NJ, NYC and CT….I gotta tell you the Carolinas are still cheap for taxes. Particularly property taxes and auto insurance. Housing is also cheaper. But, the sales taxes in the Carolinas are a killer. …and I expect taxes everywhere are going to have to keep going up or the states are going to go broke.

  22. TakBak04 says:


    After living in NJ, NYC and CT….I gotta tell you the Carolinas are still cheap for taxes. Particularly property taxes and auto insurance. Housing is also cheaper. But, the sales taxes in the Carolinas are a killer. …and I expect taxes everywhere are going to have to keep going up or the states are going to go broke.


    I’ve run into a lot of people lately who are in Carolinas from Florida for the very reasons you stated. Even some retirees who got out before the housing bubble exploded. They could see it coming…the older ones.

  23. One thing to keep in mind, if you read the article as opposed to just looking at the pictures, you’d note that the total number of Americans who moved from one county to another last year was just 10 million, or approximately 3%. These maps may tend to give the impression of bigger trends than actually exist, especially since it’s impossible to see the details of the shortest lines: moves between adjacent counties in the same metro area, which probably account for a signficant percentage of the moves.

  24. Marcus says:


    OK let’s play who pays the most tax. I always enjoying visiting New York and counting taxes on a hotel bill, 6-7 different taxes at the bottom of the bill. New York New York is not bashful about laying on tax. But for daily living, I put North Carolina up against the best in the West (California) and the worst of the East (NY, NJ and CT, Montgomery County MD, and don’t forget Taxachusetts).

    Sales – The NC state sales tax is 4.25% (low) but add a plethora of local adders and NC is over 7.25% (the California record).

    Cigarette Tax – NC is cheap, $0.35 versus New York, $2.75.

    Gasoline Tax – $0.30 versus New York $0.41 (New York wins again)

    Property Tax – This is hard to compare. My property tax is 70% of my mortgage payment, and in moving to North Carolina from Tennessee my property tax increased by a factor of 15. Yep 15X more than Knoxville a nice town in Tennessee. My home in NC is of lesser quality and 1,500 ft2 less in size.

    State Income Tax – (NC Highest bracket 7.75%, NY 7.85%, NJ 8.97% if you make over ½ million, 6.37% below). Stay away from Hawaii, Oregon, and California which all have over 10%. Florida, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Texas are all free of this one.

    North Carolina is tight with the best of the West and worst of the East in every category except cigarettes and property tax. Property tax is astronomical (not counting the hidden taxes like water/sewer rates which quadrupled last year). Nuisance taxes in North Carolina are parading as minor traffic and registration violations. I have paid several $K already this year, and I didn’t speed or drink alcohol, just little catch 22s. When you fly into Raleigh, the curbside cops check the information on you and your plates, then radio any minor slips to patrol cars who pick you up as you drive out of the airport. At least New York is up front and puts their tourist taxes on the hotel bill. Enjoy your visit to Raleigh.

    If you want to retire to the South and feed your tobacco habit, come on, smoking is cheap and will stay that way. If want to raise kids, don’t come here. North Carolina always ranks near the bottom in secondary school student performance and near the top in national per student expenditures. Does the concept of incompetence come to mind?

    If you are tired of Florida, consider Tennessee; lots of good schools, jobs, great people, great music, and low taxes.

  25. Liberty says:

    While there is growing evidence that taxes influence migration–thanks to new data sources such as this one–Miami’s story is pretty simple . . . the cause is Hurricane Andrew and friends. As a result of the recent hurricane hits, the cost of housing has been soaring due to higher insurance premiums and stiffer construction regulations. Since many folks moving to Florida are on fixed incomes, ie, retirees, those folks are particularly sensitive to increases in the cost-of-living.

    As a result, demographers have identified a new migration trend–called the “half-back” movement. These are Florida residents moving “half-back” to where they started from, generally up north/northeast. They are settling in the other southern states such as Texas, Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Virginia. You can clearly see this in the chart. Same warm weather, but much lower cost-of-living overall, especially housing. More recently, the housing bubble also contributed to this movement.

    Interestingly, speaking of taxes, look what Florida has done with its tax structure since the influx of retirees. They have fully repealed their estate tax–which will require amending their Constitution to bring it back–and reformed their property tax system. These two taxes are hated the most by retirees. Coincidence?

    New Hampshire is also full of tax refugees from Boston. The most reliably red parts of the state are the towns along the Mass border. Taxes do influence migration.

  26. TakBak04 says:

    @Marcus Says:
    June 17th, 2010 at 11:04 am


    OK let’s play who pays the most tax. I always enjoying visiting New York and counting taxes on a hotel bill, 6-7 different taxes at the bottom of the bill. New York New York is not bashful about laying on tax. But for daily living, I put North Carolina up against the best in the West (California) and the worst of the East (NY, NJ and CT, Montgomery County MD, and don’t forget Taxachusetts).

    In your case moving from Tennesee I can see where you would feel NC is a heavily taxing state. I can tell you that friends of ours in NJ are paying $15,000 a year in property taxes for a house same size, similar build and in similar neighborhood ours in NC and we pay $5,500. The car insurance taxes in NJ when we left were double what we pay here. So….it depends on what one is used to and what county one lives in, perhaps. Agree about the schools. Where does all that money go? Although I hear FLA schools are pretty bad because the retirees there don’t want to pay for education. CT and NY had the best of schools…at least some years back when I was there.

    BTW…what is it with those cops? I think they are definitely trying to fill the states budget deficits by tracking folks for minor traffic violations these days.

  27. rtpnfd says:

    Since the comments seem to have quite a bit about NC. Moved to NY from Louisiana. Moved to NC from NY and love NC. I agree with TakBak04 that where you’re moving from changes your perspective on NC rates. I also think there are huge differences in every way between the larger areas (triangle/triad) and the more rural areas.

  28. ashpelham2 says:

    Let me chime in again, since I lived in Charlotte, NC from 1999-2003.

    Property taxes are lower than most places, but much higher than surrounding states. Sales taxes, at least in Char-Meck, were high, but still lower than what I pay here in Mountain Brook, a suburb of Birmingham, AL – 10%. Yep, a full 10% sales tax on EVERYTHING, ex autos. At least in the Carolinas, and other locales, they give you a break on groceries. Not here.

    So, yes, property taxes are higher in NC than Alabama, but everyone doesn’t own property, now, do they? However, everyone must buy food. Everyone. Unless you grow it. And that is where Alabamians get raped a lot more than Carolinians. Both states have egregiously high income taxes, obtw….

  29. [...] American Migration Patterns – where are people moving to and from these days? These illustrations are awesome, and very interesting. Sidenote: I am jealous of all the people getting out of LA. [...]