'Sobering' Midwest Migration Patterns

August 9, 2018
Prairie grass and wheat
Photo: Unsplash/Marc Wieland

Senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research Aaron M. Renn recently examined migration patterns in the Midwest, finding that the region is taking some losses. 

The Midwestern cities of Columbus, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis-St. Paul are all faring poorly with net migration losses, despite growing populations and "basically" healthy economies, says Renn. When targeting the states that are drawing residents away from these cities, writing in his blog Urbanophile, Renn finds that California, despite its own rapid out-migration pattern, is drawing in these Midwesterners, and few Californians are settling in these Midwestern cities. "I consider these Midwest city figures a negative indicator," says Renn, adding, "I consider these numbers sobering news for these Midwest regions."

Minneapolis actually gets more of its in-migration from Wisconsin and Illinois than from Minnesota, probably because it has such a high percentage of the state’s population already and also is on a border and includes some Wisconsin counties in its metro area. So I exclude it from this chart. But this is also a good reminder that for all of these places, “out of state” includes next door neighbors, which account for a large share of out of state in-migration.

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