Moving South

nashWhy Americans, young and old, are heading South

Drawn to a warm climate, Southern hospitality and economic opportunity, 1.2 million people left the Northeast and Midwest for the Sun Belt states between 2010 and 2013. But how will this mass migration to the South shape America’s urban development, cultural diversity and economic future?

 

 

 

Key facts:

  • After losing inhabitants during the recession, the Sun Belt region is gaining strength, a population magnet for retirees and young families alike
  • While warmer weather may lure retiring snowbirds to region, the key forces driving young workers and their families to the area is largely economic
  • Southern hospitality and the friendly communities it spawns is a factor in the appeal for the region’s new residents
  • The Sun Belt has been transformed from America’s most poverty-stricken and undereducated region into the fasting-growing economy in the US
  • It’s a long-held belief that Northerners and Southerners live in two very different worlds, but now those worlds are colliding
  • More than 1.2 million people left the Northeast and Midwest for the South and Southwest between 2010 and 2013
  • 88% of the US population growth between 2000 and 2030 will occur in the Sun Belt
  • 63% of ‘Northern transplants’ are happy with their decision to move to the Sunbelt
  • Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the Sunbelt, with a 69% population increase since 2000
  • Latino populations in the Sun Belt have increased by 54%
  • The population of people who identified themselves as African American in the South grew by more than 12% since 2000

Scope:

After losing inhabitants during the recession, the Southern and Southwestern states – known as the Sun Belt region – are gaining strength, acting as population magnets for retirees and young families alike. Over 1.2 million people left the Northeast and Midwest for the South and Southwest between 2010 and 2013. [1

New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois are witnessing the largest levels of domestic migration in more than half a decade. [2] The majority of these people are being lured in by the warmer and more affordable Sun Belt states – particularly Texas, the Carolinas, Florida, Georgia and Arizona. It’s expected that approximately 88% of the US population growth between 2000 and 2030 will occur in the Sun Belt. [3]

Southern hospitality is a huge key factor in the South’s appeal. People tell me all the time how they can’t get over how much more relaxed and friendly everyone is here. They don’t feel that constant push of competition like they do up North

Andy Specht, journalist and expert on real estate and economic development

While short winters and sunshine are appealing, the promise of a better quality of life is what’s truly drawing people downwards. Shaking off its reputation as America’s most backwards and poverty-stricken region, the Sun Belt now stands as the nation’s number one leader in economic development. [4

With lower taxes, less stringent regulations and plenty of open land for development, the region has attracted many new businesses. This has led to a surge in economic activity, creating much needed jobs, stimulating local economies and expanding commercial, residential and urban development. As more Americans seek new opportunities in the South, how will this shift shape America’s urban development, cultural diversity and economic future? Read more at Canvas8