Thanks To Census, Sun Belt Swipes People, Clout From Midwest, Northeast

Cries of “they took our jobs” can be replaced with “they took our votes,” thanks to census data that will shift seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and electoral votes away from the Midwest and Northeast to southern and western states.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports slow population growth and — in some cases (we’re looking at you, Michigan) — population declines in those regions were outpaced by sharp increases in the Sun Belt. Ohio, New York, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania will all give up Congressional seats in 2013. The losses translate to less political clout and fewer job opportunities.

If you’ve made the shift from the cold parts of the country to warmer climates over the past decade, what sparked your move?

Rust Belt states losing people, political clout [St. Louis Post-Dispatchj]co


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  1. madtube says:

    With all that happened in the housing boom, none of this news surprises me.

  2. zentec says:

    I haven’t moved yet, but what will spark my move is how Michigan’s government can’t get its act together. The roads are horribly maintained, it’s always a fight to get funding for schools and if you live in southeast Michigan, you’re always contending with the blight that is Detroit.

    The state government is a joke and has been for the past 15 years. They completely closed the mental health hospital infrastructure and the crazies are out on the street, the state can’t decide if it wants to protect natural resources or not because they divide, then recombine, then divide, then recombine agencies to enforce pollution and conservation laws. If you have to have any interaction with any state agency, especially the treasury, it’s a mind numbing bout with apathy, arrogance, ignorance that will make you want to forget the whole thing.

    Michigan has a part-time legislature that pays its representatives nice fat six figure salaries.

    There are a few bright spots here; Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids are bright spots and there are jobs there, you just need to be college educated in some sort of high tech field.
    We also have all the water we want. Although, I’m sure the southwest will figure out how to take that too.

  3. TuxthePenguin says:

    I’ve heard it from a few people that they’d never move to Texas… but then again, they are in the minority as Texas will pick up 4 seats in the next Congressional elections.

    But I wish someone would go through and see if there are more things in common with the gainers and again for the lossers to see if its more than just “sunny, warmer climate”. Could there be other factors as well?

    • Southern says:

      No taxes (in Texas), cheaper housing, lower unemployement, not having to shovel snow off your driveway.. Yeah, there are advantages. :)

      Until summertime, anyway. :-)

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      A big component in Texas is the growing Hispanic population – migration, immigration, and larger family sizes.

      • TuxthePenguin says:

        True, but look at some of the fastest growing cities in Texas – McKinney, Allen, Plano and Frisco. They don’t fit that trend.

        We built a house and moved to Frisco (granted, from Richardson) – and every one of our neighbors on our part of the street (eight houses) except us moved in from out of state.

        There’s something right in Texas – I think part of it is that our legislature only meets every two years. We hold our breath, but hopefully the Democrats will run out of state again and little to nothing will be accomplished.

        We can dream!

  4. schiff says:


    • wackydan says:

      Sigh… and all those northerners who flee the taxes move south, and then try to create the same systems that drove taxes higher in the north to begin with.

      • Verdant Pine Trees says:

        It will all balance out eventually. People once fled the south for the north for better economic opportunities; it’s been flipped since the late 1970s and 1980s… there are lots of people in Texas who moved here from Michigan and Washington in the 1970s.

    • PunditGuy says:

      There’s so much bitching about taxes here in Minnesota… but frankly, if we’d wanted Mississippi’s educational system, that’s what we’d have ended up with.

      My brother recently moved from up here to Missouri. His daughter started 8th grade by reviewing a lot of things that are handled in 4th grade here.

      Taxes don’t bother me, because you get what you pay for. And we (barely) kept our 8 congressional districts in our high-tax state, by the way.

  5. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    As soon as my job lets me telecommute full time, I’m fleeing the Peoples’ Democratic Republic of New Jersey for parts more southern and western. I’ll take any state where my property tax payments would actually be lower than my mortgage payments.

  6. maxwell1331 says:

    I recently moved from Owego, NY to Rockville, MD. I moved because the company I worked for had been laying people off over the last year and a half and my part of the business was in line to moved to TX. Didn’t want to move to TX and didn’t want to be laid off in an already depressed area with little in the way of professional jobs in my field.

    There are a couple of decent areas in NY outside NYC but the jobs are moving out and so are the young professionals. NY is struggling under declining tax base (people with jobs) and increasing social support (welfare etc…).

    Don’t get me wrong the geography is beautiful and the summers can’t be beat, all three months of it. I lived there for 27 years and I’ll miss some parts but I’m not sad to be gone.

  7. infinitevalence says:

    One word, Jobs. I moved from Vermont to Tennessee because there were jobs down here that I could do as an unskilled and uneducated 19-20 year old. Fast forward 10 years and I ended up going to college, buying a house, and getting married in the south.

    I am now what they call a “Damn Yankee” which is a Yankee that moves south and wont leave again :P

  8. wenhaver says:

    I never thought I’ve move south of the Mason-Dixon line, but here I am in Texas. Why? Because I looked for a job in WI for more than 6 months, and ended up landing something that pays $9/hr. I moved here on June 1 of last year, and by June 5th had a job offer paying more than 3 times that. And I don’t pay insanely high state income taxes, either.

    Then again, the trade-off for having financial security and not being on food stamps is that I live in Texas. But I’ll take Texas over welfare benefits any day.

    • MrEvil says:

      I’ve lived in Texas all my life and having heard stories from folks that have moved here and having visited the rest of the US. The only way I’ll leave Texas is in a hearse. You won’t drag me out of this state alive.

    • Verdant Pine Trees says:

      There are a lot of great opportunities here in Texas. Never expected to be here either and the first year was tough adjusting, but now we love it.

      Unlike my time in Virginia, no one has yet to give me grief about being a Yankee. Some people may disagree with me on political / religious issues, but frankly, it doesn’t come up on a regular basis, even with good friends.

  9. B* says:

    Ohio’s state and local governments have destroyed the state. No point in staying here when there are no jobs, schools are worthless, and the entire economy is in the toilet. Nay, the grave. The only reason crime isn’t out of control is even the criminals are too depressed. (Not that there’s anything to steal anyway.)

    So yeah, we have a slowly growing Portland moving fund.

    • CrankyOwl says:

      Noooo, don’t move to Portland! There are no jobs here :(

    • Verdant Pine Trees says:

      Don’t move to Portland! (unless it’s Maine). Your friend here is not kidding, there are NO JOBS. It is actually worse than Ohio. Only Michigan is worse.

      One friend who was incumbent for a job as an interim person had to compete with 700 applicants who also applied, and lost out to someone who had a master’s degree… even though she had excellent reviews, and even though it was an entry level position.

      Even temp agencies will tell you, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

      My friend is presently in another job where she is in a forced furlough for three months out of the year.

      If you are independently wealthy, don’t need a job, and can afford the prices that have been driven up high by escaping Californians, that’s one thing. Then I would recommend you not move to Portland but Vancouver, Washington instead, because the infrastructure is better.

  10. SteveinOhio says:

    I fear as an Ohioan that at some point the southwest will run out of water and the rest of the country will see the Great Lakes just kind of sitting there…The biggest population growth is all happening in areas that are already straining for fresh water resources. Elected leaders in the southwest who see a future of drought have already discussed the idea that the GL are a “national resource” to be sent where it is needed. I was happy to see the Great Lakes states and Canadian provinces sign an agreement a few years ago to protect that resource from those who might eye it up as a solution to their problems.

  11. BeastMasterJ says:

    Moved from Pennsylvania to Wyoming in 2007, for work. My advise to those graduating from college these days is to look outside Urban Population Centers for work; the competition for work in those areas is fierce, and a glut of people with 4-year degrees looking for a job is driving down pay.

  12. evnmorlo says:

    The only reason to live in the north is because you can’t afford to move. Really it should all be abandoned and converted to a nature preserve.

  13. cmdr.sass says:

    The key factor here is that people are moving from states with high tax burdens to states with low tax burdens and better job opportunities.

  14. areaman says:

    I think people over look something on why people are moving.

    If jobs and taxes are big concerns people would never move to California.

    This article points out that some people are shocked CA had only 10% population growth in the last 10 years.

  15. LeoSolaris says:

    I moved to South Carolina from Ohio about 3 1/2 -4 years back. The reasons were pretty simple actually: My fiancée (now wife) wanted a Master’s in Library Sci that focused on Young Adult Lit, and there were only a handful of schools offering that… USC was in the warmest part of the country, so here we moved.

    Jobs were scarce in Ohio, while work was a little easier to find in SC. Now I am in Michelin’s IT dept, and my wife is working for a company that handles hemophilia drugs as their research librarian. We’re much better off down here than we would have even hoped to be in Ohio.

  16. turbo says:

    I moved from WI to CA because of the weather.

  17. bnceo says:

    Moved from New Jersey to Maryland to work for the federal government. Also, property taxes are insane in NJ. A college graduate who makes good $$ can’t afford a home there. It’s tax the successful and give back to the people who haven’t succeeded.

    Not to mention a more steady job than my advertising gig in NYC.

  18. Jevia says:

    I’m not sure why people move out of PA. The state taxes are only 3%, some, but not all cites do impose an additional tax, 1% in most cases, Philly is an exception at 4%. But so many of the close suburbs have businesses and offices that its not that difficult to avoid the Philly tax. The property taxes aren’t that high either (at least compared with some other states). The unemployment rate is on the higher side at 8.6%, so I can see that being a factor.

    Yeah, there’s snow, but at least in the Philly area, its usually not too bad (last year excepting). I actually like it here moreso that Los Angeles, where I grew up.

  19. RogueWarrior65 says:

    Took? Took?!? TOOK????!?!?! “took” implies ownership at best and entitlement at worst. Neither applies in this case. The votes belong to the people not the state. Try to remember that. The people in question told those high tax governments to go pound sand and exercised their right to freedom of movement.

    There are five boxes to be used in the defense of Liberty: Moving, Soap, Ballot, Jury, and Ammo. Use in that order.

  20. blag says:

    Wait a minute, aren’t those all blue states? Who tabulated the results of this census anyway?

  21. Johnny Longtorso says:

    Gee, I wonder why people are moving out of areas where manufacturing was the primary industry. It probably doesn’t have anything to do with taxes or their political affiliation.

  22. maynurd says:

    Makes me sick hearing that this political party is gaining seats or loosing seats right off the bat like that. Just because a state traditionally leans toward one party or another does not mean that the person filling those seats will be a member of the same party.

  23. TasteyCat says:

    I have lived in New England most of my life. It’s cold. It’s expensive (taxes and housing costs). It just doesn’t make much sense to live here. I’m planning to move back down south in a year or so. I have to admit Europe’s looking mighty tempting, too, with the American empire in its decline and all. A couple hundred bucks a month in healthcare penalty taxes won’t help matters any either.

  24. dg says:

    Illinois: High crime, high corruption, high taxes, guns all but impossible to utilize to defend oneself due to IL being one of two States that don’t have any kind of concealed carry law, Mayor Daley, high fees for licenses/plates, High sales taxes, high cost for gasoline, weather sucks most of the year.

    Florida: Low crime, low taxes, guns can be carried and they have a castle doctrine law on the books, lower fees, low sales taxes…. Oh yeah – don’t forget the sun, chicks in bikinis, and SPRING BREAK flashers… Except for the occasional hurricane – the weather is usually pretty nice too.

    Fuck Illinois – I’m surprised more people haven’t left the State already…

  25. houstonspace says:

    My wife and I are originally from Michigan and Massachusetts. I was in the military on the West Coast – when I finished up my enlistment in 2004, we were looking at a map and trying to decide where to go. We thought about long-term job security, and the possibility of owning a house. California was definitely out – no chance of ever owning an affordable home. Going back to Michigan or Massachusetts were also out – Michigan was falling apart, with the exception of Ann Arbor, and Massachusetts just seemed too expensive. Then we thought about Texas. It has a warm climate, the job market was good and diversified. It was a decision between Austin or Houston. We liked both, but Houston had more to offer – plus it offered NASA – a place I have wanted to work since I was 8 years old. So we moved to Houston and we’ve been really happy. People are so friendly, and It’s nothing like what people might think. Most of our Yankee friends thought we were nuts – “Texas!? You’re moving to a RED state?!”. I think people have this idea that everyone wears cowboy hats, drives a pickup truck, and owns a ranch. Houston is the 3rd or 4th largest city in the country. We can get anything here. The best part is – the cost of living is so much cheaper than the north or northeast. Houses down here are ridiculously-cheap – We got an 1800 s.f. house for about $110K. 2500 s.f. homes (new ones) go for about $160K-$200K. In 2005, I don’t think we could have bought a tool shed for less than $100K in the Boston metro area.

  26. verbatim613 says:

    Notice all the states with population growth have lower tax bases. And the biggest declines went to states that are huge tax states.