A lot of attention in the blogosphere today is being directed at an interactive map
devised by Forbes. The map shows migration to and from different
counties and cities, black lines showing people moving into an area, red
lines representing people on the way out. Among other findings, huge
flows to Texas and Seattle and away from areas of Southern California
and Detroit have bloggers intrigued. Here are some of the comments and
efforts to explain.
- 'Jobs and No State Income Taxes' That's what's attracting people to Texas, argues A.S. at The Economist's Free Exchange blog. "High earning New Yorkers and Californians can take home between 9% and 11% more of their income by moving to Texas. Every trip down I speak to at least one bitter New Yorker/Californian fed up with high taxes and cost of living."
- That's Not Quite True All taxes factored in, observes economist Brad DeLong,
"Texans pay 26.0% of their income in taxes--while ... Californians pay
28.5% of their income in taxes. Roughly half of that difference comes
from the fact that our federal tax system is somewhat progressive,"
i.e. people in California are, presumably, in a different category for
federal purposes, which means that taxes in Texas just aren't that much
lower, all things considered. He also points out that, though The
Economist's A.S. is complaining about expense on the coasts, "costs of
living in New York and (coastal, metropolitan) California are high
because there isn't much space and because they are very nice places to
- What's With East Coasters and Orange County? Mother Jones's Kevin Drum looks at migration to and from his home county in California. "What's interesting," he writes, "is that the outward migration is all over the map, but the inward migration is almost exclusively from the East Coast and bits of the upper midwest. I'm not sure why."
- What's With Southern California in General? Outside the Beltway's James Joyner
looks at Los Angeles County, which is also experiencing an exodus. It
turns out, though, that "the outward flow is much more scattered than
the inward flow ... in 2008 at least, most of the people moving to LA
were doing so from the Boston-New York-Washington corridor whereas most
leaving LA were staying either on the West Coast or somewhere else in
the Sun Belt." He's fascinated by this, and wonders whether "the
graphic is just overwhelmed by population clusters."
- 'For Those of You Who Blame High California Taxes for the Exodus,' asks Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture, "how do you explain Miami?" Florida has no income tax, but he includes the graphic for Miami, which shows tons of red lines from people vacating the city.