During the recession, the number of people spurning the Midwest and Northeast regions slowed as economic woes made it more difficult for people to move without considerable risk. Now, however, as the economy continues its recovery, people are once again walking away from the Midwest and the Northeast. Where are they heading? Primarily to the Sun Belt, but the West has been a big winner, as well, particularly places like Colorado, Arizona, and Washington, reports The Washington Post.
Florida had a net gain of about 200,000 people between 2014 and 2015 (that number represents people moving between states, not immigration from abroad), the most for any one state. Other states with big net gains were Texas (170,000), Colorado (54,000), Arizona (45,000), and South Carolina (45,000).
On the flip side of the coin, Illinois lost about 105,000 residents, the largest population drop for the Midwestern state since the turn of the century. Not a single state located within the Northeast or the Midwest gained residents over the last year.
There are multiple reasons for these shifts, some dating back decades to the 1960s. With air conditioning becoming a standard feature in most homes throughout the country and the rise of interstate highways, Southern cities that were once isolated and in incredibly hot and humid climates have become much more appealing. Additionally, many people in the Midwest and Northeast have been pushed out due to the decline in industrial jobs.
While it might seem odd that somewhere like New York is losing residents, remember that these domestic losses are often offset by new immigration from abroad.