Conor Dougherty over at the WSJ highlights the slowdown in movement of people in the U.S. The article makes use of data being released today and covers the one-year period up until July 2008 – so the most severe/recent parts of this recession are not included. There are some interesting migration numbers from areas as diverse as Cleveland and Phoenix. From the piece:
Older metro areas such as New York and San Francisco, which have seen residents move to faster-growing areas, are now losing fewer people. Cities in the formerly hot housing markets such as Nevada and Florida are seeing fewer arrivals and, in some cases, more people moving out than in.
At the local level, more people are staying in the city and postponing their move to the suburbs. In 2005-06, metropolitan areas with one million or more people saw a net 688,000 people leave their core counties. In 2007-08, a net 336,000 left, according to an analysis of Census data by Kenneth Johnson, senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute.
“Fewer people are leaving the urban cores to go to the suburbs,” said Mr. Johnson.
Decisions like his help explain why a net 15,000 people left the Cleveland area for somewhere else in the U.S. in 2007-2008, compared with a net of 21,000 between 2005 and 2006. Sarasota, meanwhile, saw a net increase of 2,500 residents from inside the U.S., compared with as many as 20,000 during the boom years.
Interesting stuff. What is clear is that, like everything else in our modern economy, changes can be sharp; from major capital positions (Madoff’s billions) to human capital movement.
Btw, part of me wonders if less people are leaving the cities because they are trapped under high priced urban real estate? That concept has been discussed here. Any thoughts on any of the new data?