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Where are Americans Moving?
June 15, 2010 7:16 AM   Subscribe

Where are Americans Moving? An interactive map of county-to-county migration within the US in 2008.
posted by jefficator (84 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's like playing minesweeper when you're hunting for the big cities. click three movements click seven movements click BOOM A MILLION MOVEMENTS PORTLAND
posted by seagull.apollo at 7:27 AM on June 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's kinda neat, but a little hard to get a good sense of the overall picture for any given city.

Hey, click on Detroit.
posted by oddman at 7:29 AM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Curious visualization I was going to say drawing 1000 red and black lines does not make for a useful picture and it was a shame they didn't leave the lines out and just colour the counties red/black. I still think that'd work, but there's something dramatic about the big red spiderweb of people fleeing Detroit and the big black web of people going to Atlanta.
posted by Nelson at 7:31 AM on June 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pretty awesome. I live in Monroe County, IN (home of IU), and it's striking how different the migration patterns are between my county and its neighbours: Monroe's lines reach all across the country, while next door Brown County's lines really only go to & from its neighbouring counties. See also Tippecanoe Co., IN (Purdue), Champaign Co., IL (U. Illinois), Story Co., IA (Iowa State), and so forth.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:33 AM on June 15, 2010


Fascinating. Detroit, somewhat predictably, has mass outward immigration, while Atlanta, Seattle and Dallas are predominantly inward. The big media centres like NYC and LA are roughly equal in inward/outward migration (is that the sound of a million dreams crying out at once and being suddenly silenced I hear?).

More interesting is looking at specific counties and seeing where people arrive/leave from. My wife's old County in Colorado gets a lot of inward migration from SoCal, Arizona and Wyoming and a lot of outward migration to the Pacific Northwest, Texas, Florida and New England.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:34 AM on June 15, 2010


Very interesting.... lots of people movin' to Seattle. More than I would have thought.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:35 AM on June 15, 2010


I can't believe anyone goes back to where I came from, but apparently they do.
posted by edguardo at 7:36 AM on June 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Looks like Pittsburghers are fleeing for Seattle, Portland, The Bay Area, NYC and Florida. Not really surprising, college grads leaving for the coasts and retirees heading south. We did just record the first gain in population last year for the first time in generations.
posted by octothorpe at 7:37 AM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, bummer. I clicked around randomly to see if I could find a county with no inward or outward migration. It was surprisingly easy. Garden Country, Nebraska was the first one I found.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:44 AM on June 15, 2010


Gosh, actually, there's loads of them.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:46 AM on June 15, 2010


Moving out of Chicago is like a big ol "RUNNNNNNNNNN! RUNNN FOR YOUR LIVES" symbol.
posted by stormpooper at 7:47 AM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Interesting map. But...
Would it have killed them to make the map scrollable when you zoom in?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:50 AM on June 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why the hell are people from Norfolk and Virginia Beach, VA moving to Detroit?
posted by valkyryn at 7:50 AM on June 15, 2010


Would it have killed them to make the map scrollable when you zoom in?

You can drag it around.
posted by valkyryn at 7:51 AM on June 15, 2010


Detroit looks like a gushing wound.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:55 AM on June 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Travis County (Austin, TX) is about the most unsurprising thing I've seen all day. A few red lines in a giant black spot.

Also, much of Florida is hilarious (this is also not a surprise): the knife of retired people from the Northeast forces residents to flee in an explosion across the country.
posted by hanoixan at 7:55 AM on June 15, 2010


Happy Dave, there's a reporting threshold of 10 moves, to or from an individual county, so no lines doesn't mean no movement--it just means there aren't any counties to or from which at least 10 people have moved.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:57 AM on June 15, 2010


There are some interesting migration patterns: I like the implied narrative for Los Angeles: everybody moves from New England to make it big in LA, then, disillusioned, get the hell out of LA and wind up somewhere, anywhere else on the west coast.
posted by ook at 8:00 AM on June 15, 2010


It's like a headline from an Onion article...
27% a van down by the river
33% mom & dad's house
14% to a deluxe apartment in the sky
4% anywhere where Billy-Box ain't
39% underwater
posted by GuyZero at 8:02 AM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am really shocked at the number of people moving in to Maricopa Country in Arizona.
posted by stoneweaver at 8:03 AM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Looking at Minneapolis and St. Paul, I think it's interesting that the influx seems to be mostly from other parts of Minnesota, while the outflow goes all over the country. Which I guess makes sense...
posted by COBRA! at 8:07 AM on June 15, 2010


Looking at Minneapolis and St. Paul, I think it's interesting that the influx seems to be mostly from other parts of Minnesota, while the outflow goes all over the country. Which I guess makes sense...

Yep, people from all over the state going to the big city, and people from the big city go to other big cities. Seems about right. See pretty much every other 'big city in largely rural states' for the same pattern.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:11 AM on June 15, 2010


Looks inspired by The Big Sort
posted by mkb at 8:16 AM on June 15, 2010


Los Angeles resembles blood splatter at one of Dexter's crime scenes, with a high velocity spurt along the west coast and, oddly enough, an arterial spray into North Carolina.
Based on this analysis, it appears the assailant(s) fired the shot while crouched in a fetal position in the senate chamber of the California State Capitol in Sacramento.
posted by prinado at 8:24 AM on June 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


In Wisconsin, many counties look like the people either move within the state, or head to a few specific counties in Florida, Arizona and California.
posted by drezdn at 8:33 AM on June 15, 2010


Hmmm...people really are leaving Las Vegas.
posted by rocket88 at 8:35 AM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wish that you could turn off either the inbound or outbound so that you could see a little clearer. The choice of colors is pretty bad, the back gets overwhelmed by the red.
posted by octothorpe at 8:37 AM on June 15, 2010


I was also a little horrified to look at the county in rural Nebraska where I grew up, and see that the only migration was to and from neighboring rural counties. Man, at least show the gumption to move to Omaha or something, people.
posted by COBRA! at 8:37 AM on June 15, 2010


Really fascinating.
posted by statolith at 8:40 AM on June 15, 2010


That's pretty neat.
posted by cashman at 8:44 AM on June 15, 2010


Has anyone found a county with no movement above the threshold?
posted by ocherdraco at 8:55 AM on June 15, 2010


I've clicked on a few -- see the upper left corners of Nebraska and So. Dakota - but they all say "Sorry, no migration data is available for this county", which might just mean "none".
posted by statolith at 8:58 AM on June 15, 2010


Looks like everyone's leaving my state.

Way to go, Connecticut.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:02 AM on June 15, 2010


lots of people movin' to Seattle


It's the "pesto" of big cities.
posted by L'OM at 9:05 AM on June 15, 2010


DEAR PEOPLE IN THE GREAT HINTERLANDS.

NEW YORK IS FULL.

THEY SAID IT COULDN'T HAPPEN, BUT IT DID. WE'RE SORRY. APPARENTLY TOO MANY PEOPLE LOVED NEW YORK.

WE ARE NOW OUT OF BAGELS, TAXIS, TALL BUILDINGS FOR YOU TO TAKE PICTURES OF, SIDEWALKS FOR YOU TO BLOCK AND SETTINGS FROM MOVIES YOU FEEL THE INEXPLICABLE NEED TO SEE IN PERSON. YEP, THERE'S NOTHING LEFT TO SEE OR DO HERE.

PLEASE GO TO LOS ANGELES INSTEAD. WE HEAR IT'S DELIGHTFUL.

SIGNED,

WON'T SOMEONE RID US OF THESE MEDDLESOME TOURISTS?
posted by zarq at 9:05 AM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you look very closely, you can see the one, thin black line of my leaving Chicago for Detroit. It is underneath the approximately bazillion red lines fleeing in horror to all compass points at once.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:13 AM on June 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dear People Who Were Previously Headed to New York,

We'll take you, we've got this NYC inferiority complex anyway. You have to start routing for our sports teams, though, and stop being amazed that the tea is sweet. It's like that because we put sugar in it, while it's hot.

Thanks,

Atlanta
posted by Panjandrum at 9:16 AM on June 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


DEAR PEOPLE IN THE GREAT HINTERLANDS.

NEW YORK IS FULL.


Hah. Reminds me of the Lesser Seattle movement. "Dpn't promote how good this city is. You'll only encourage people to move here."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:18 AM on June 15, 2010


NEW YORK IS FULL.

I'm always amazed at how people think this kind of attitude is somehow less obnoxious than, say, Jan Brewer trying to keep all the immigrants out of Arizona.
posted by enn at 9:24 AM on June 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


It appears as though my current location of KC seems to be the jumping off point for the state to greener pastures. That's a pleasant thought.
posted by hellojed at 9:30 AM on June 15, 2010


I'm always amazed at how people think this kind of attitude is somehow less obnoxious than, say, Jan Brewer trying to keep all the immigrants out of Arizona.

Do I really have to put smiley faces on a smartass comment IN ALL CAPS for people to get that I was joking? Really?

OK, let's be serious then: This city runs on the money that tourists spend here. Everyone knows it.

But still, it would be nice if they stopped blocking the #@^$¢&¶@! sidewalks! :)
posted by zarq at 9:30 AM on June 15, 2010


"Dpn't promote how good this city is. You'll only encourage people to move here."

*gasp* THE KBO! It's like the mother ship is calling me home, dude. :D
posted by zarq at 9:32 AM on June 15, 2010


NEW YORK IS FULL

... of something.

"Give me your artsy, your fartsy,
Your muddled trust-fund kids yearning to live rent-free,
The wretched refuse of your Pauly Shores.
Send these, the clueless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the dive-bar door!"
posted by joe lisboa at 9:32 AM on June 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm always amazed at how people think this kind of attitude is somehow less obnoxious than, say, Jan Brewer trying to keep all the immigrants out of Arizona.

I think the New York attitude can be read more as a complaint about New York itself -- that it lacks the kind of civic policies and organization needed to accept the constant influx of new people. It just getting more and more crowded, but it's not getting better -- no one's building new schools or snazzy monorails or livable spaces meant for people of all income levels. We're just piling more problems on top of the problems. "Please stay home -- we don't have room for you."

Whereas in Arizona, the focus is on evil, dirty people that are defiling an otherwise perfect place. "Everything was fine until you fucked it up."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:35 AM on June 15, 2010


(said in good-natured jest from a guy in the city everyone is already leaving)
posted by joe lisboa at 9:37 AM on June 15, 2010


People from Brooklyn like Atlanta. A lot. I checked Manhattan expecting the same sort of pattern and didn't get it. Interesting.
posted by milarepa at 9:40 AM on June 15, 2010


Most people seem to think that global warming is going to hit the Pacific Northwest less hard than most of the rest of the country. If the globe heats up 5-6 degrees, people in Seattle and Portland might have a few advantages over the rest of the country, like being able to drink water.

I doubt that's what's driving the current influx, but maybe it's a factor.
posted by gurple at 9:56 AM on June 15, 2010


NEW YORK IS FULL OF ARROGANT DOUCHEBAGS
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:59 AM on June 15, 2010


CANADA IS FULL OF UNFAILINGLY POLITE... UH... well... yeah, I got nothing. ;)
posted by zarq at 10:02 AM on June 15, 2010


... CANUCKS!
posted by joe lisboa at 10:03 AM on June 15, 2010


Heh. :)
posted by zarq at 10:06 AM on June 15, 2010


Sigh. I waited forever for this to load and it still won't show itself to me. Anyone with a screenshot?
posted by anniecat at 10:10 AM on June 15, 2010


I wonder if this backs up the common Midwestern narrative of moving to the West/East coast after growing up in a small town somewhere.

If it makes you New Yorkers feel any better, my sister is moving out of NYC after living there 5 years, citing that she's tired of random people swearing at her.
posted by hellojed at 10:11 AM on June 15, 2010


Uh, tell your sister I'm sorry.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:17 AM on June 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thoughts:

Does not work in Firefox. Works in Internet Explorer, though. And people wonder why that browser still has market share.

The zoom is weird.

I like Blue Öyster Cult as much as the next person, but "Red and Black" is not a good color scheme for this. It's not a balance sheet.

Purple? Really?

I can see how people moved between counties when I hover over a county after selecting one, but I cannot just look at a county and get numbers on in vs. out.

For large cities, in anything but extreme cases, I cannot tell if there is net influx or if it is the other way around.
posted by adipocere at 10:27 AM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Definitely works in some versions of firefox. If you're using scriptblocker, you do need to allow at least two things on the site.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:36 AM on June 15, 2010


Click on Honolulu Country. It's a blood bath.
posted by NemesisVex at 10:43 AM on June 15, 2010


County, dammit, County.
posted by NemesisVex at 10:43 AM on June 15, 2010


There's a trend of folks moving TO Des Moines FROM Los Angeles and San Francisco. Heh.
posted by cometwendy at 10:53 AM on June 15, 2010


I like Blue Öyster Cult as much as the next person, but "Red and Black" is not a good color scheme for this.

Don't fear the reaper, dude.

*eyes webs for Boulder and Las Vegas*
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:59 AM on June 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thank you, adipocere. Just opened it up in IE.
posted by anniecat at 11:03 AM on June 15, 2010


NICE, Durn. Nice.

I'll throw an awful one back at you. Check Clallam County, Washington, then go look at the popular baby names for 2009. People are moving from Arizona to Forks, Washington, and naming their daughters "Isabella." I'm about ready to welcome the Walking Dude myself after figuring that out.
posted by adipocere at 11:13 AM on June 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


What was also really interesting about this map was seeing ... when a line indicated movement from a small sparsely populated county, it usually didn't move very far. Lots of movement from small county to small county. Only very rarely did you see a group moving from a small rural county to a big city.

I would have expected to see, say, a pipeline of like-minded people from a rural area moving to a new place, in the same way that groups of ethnically or religiously linked immigrants all moved together across the Western states.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:17 AM on June 15, 2010


People moving to Vermont are from San Diego? Why?
And all sorts of other questions.

They could also have included how many people from each county left the country altogether.
And yes, I assure you, the IRS has this information too.
posted by vacapinta at 11:19 AM on June 15, 2010


If it makes you New Yorkers feel any better, my sister is moving out of NYC after living there 5 years, citing that she's tired of random people swearing at her.

It makes me happy every time someone who can't hack it leaves. Especially if *swearing* was the problem.
posted by dame at 11:51 AM on June 15, 2010


Cool Papa Bell: "DEAR PEOPLE IN THE GREAT HINTERLANDS.

NEW YORK IS FULL.


Hah. Reminds me of the Lesser Seattle movement. "Dpn't promote how good this city is. You'll only encourage people to move here."
"

Yeah, my dad and grandad used to have a TV pickup/fixit/deliver it back service. They ran into lots of folks who'd settled in El Paso because of the low cost of living, climate, etc. Grandpa would tell them "don't tell your friends, because they'll all come, and it will get too crowded."

I don't know if folks listened, but it made for a good story.
posted by lysdexic at 12:21 PM on June 15, 2010


It makes me happy every time someone who can't hack it leaves.

I'm sorry I failed you by moving to Philly. But, if you give me a bunch of moola, I'll head on back. 'Cause low-income folks have a harder time "hacking" it in NYC.
posted by angrycat at 12:26 PM on June 15, 2010


(actually, I won't go back cause I love Philly now. Suck it, angry red lines leaving Philly)
posted by angrycat at 12:27 PM on June 15, 2010


It makes me happy every time someone who can't hack it leaves. Especially if *swearing* was the problem.

I guess this represents another reason why people leave New York?
posted by Alex404 at 12:35 PM on June 15, 2010


59 people actually moved FROM Milwaukee TO Detroit

*cries*
posted by desjardins at 1:02 PM on June 15, 2010


Admit, what you really want to know is, where are the rich people moving.

(You may not like the methodology, but hell, this is really just for fun anyway.)
posted by IndigoJones at 2:14 PM on June 15, 2010


59 people actually moved FROM Milwaukee TO Detroit
*cries*


*sharpens knives*
posted by joe lisboa at 2:35 PM on June 15, 2010


While L.A. is hemorrhaging blood, Raleigh (Wake County) is like a black hole sucking everybody in. Please stop. You don't want to live here-- it is hot and humid and very dull.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:55 PM on June 15, 2010


Click on Honolulu Country. It's a blood bath. - NemesisVex

No surprise, but WHO are all those East Coasters who came this way?! Hope they brought their own food and water and know how to rig a solar generator and/or sailing canoe.

... and hope they are ready for secession ...
posted by Surfurrus at 3:15 PM on June 15, 2010


While L.A. is hemorrhaging blood

The population of Los Angeles is growing steadily. I wouldn't call that "hemorrhaging".
posted by Justinian at 3:17 PM on June 15, 2010


I'd like to see a map showing just students (university), and another one just for retirees. I suspect those are the biggest groups moving in and out of Hawai'i.

I believe military can file their IRS information wherever they want to call home, so it would be hard to figure out how that third large group changes the numbers
posted by Surfurrus at 3:34 PM on June 15, 2010


Damnit, all you black line people stay the hell out of my county!
It's already crowded enough.
posted by madajb at 3:46 PM on June 15, 2010


Dear 22 people who inexplicably moved from Virginia Beach, VI to Skagit County, WA,

Hi! 22 of you? Really? There were only 14 inbound migrations to Skagit County from outside the state, and your county was one of them. I know not what strange forces caused that black line to connect our two counties, but welcome!

Be sure to try Calico Cupboard for breakfast, but get there before 9AM on the weekend or you'll have to wait for ages. It gets pretty crowded. (The vegetarian Eggs Benedict with a slice of avocado is my personal favorite!)

Dear 11 people who moved from Skagit County to Honolulu,

I'm still waiting for that box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts you promised to send back.
posted by ErikaB at 4:08 PM on June 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


If the Calico Cupboard is crowded, you're probably too late for The Farmhouse on the road to Annacortes.

But if you find yourself, in Ferndale, it's the best breakfast in Whatcom County.

PS. We already knew everybody was moving here. It's painfully obvious.
posted by warbaby at 4:32 PM on June 15, 2010


madajb: wow, I read that too fast and was all OH NO SHE DIDN'T
posted by desjardins at 4:33 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cool Papa Bell: "Hah. Reminds me of the Lesser Seattle movement. "Dpn't promote how good this city is. You'll only encourage people to move here."

Reminds me of the popular T-shirt that Austinites wear during SXSW. It reads:

WELCOME TO AUSTIN!
Please don't move here.

stoneweaver: "I am really shocked at the number of people moving in to Maricopa Country in Arizona."

Was this a joke re the recent immigration flap? I think the map was made based on 2008 data.
posted by pineapple at 5:08 PM on June 15, 2010


Not really. But I've been to Maricopa County, and it's freaking hot. I know people move there, but every time I see just how many it boggles my mind and confuses the heck out of me.
posted by stoneweaver at 6:22 PM on June 15, 2010


FYI, the visualization works fine in Safari.
posted by needled at 6:37 PM on June 15, 2010


Whoo boy, lots of people from all over moving to Abeline TX. Although I can't fathom why.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:57 PM on June 16, 2010


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