Map of the Day: Migration Nation

By Patrick Ottenhoff

When the Minnesota North Stars packed their bags and moved to Texas to become the Dallas Stars, the sports world cried foul, but the franchise was really just doing what millions of Americans were doing: abandoning the Rust Belt for promise in the Sun Belt (they ended up winning a Cup five years later).

In 2011, Congress will certify new lines to reflect the migration in the last decade from states like Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania, to ones like Arizona, Georgia and Texas. The winners and losers are fairly well-known, but now the IRS released new county-level data that the folks at Forbes have put into a slick map.

You can click on any county and see inbound and outbound migrations in 2008 (black is inward; red is outward). I picked two of the most dramatic counties: Wayne County (Detroit), and Travis County (Austin). Comerica Bank, once a Detroit institution, is a good example of a business that relocated from Michigan to Texas.

In a way, these two counties are also symbolic of the trend in the American economy of jobs and money flowing away from a city that makes things to one that relies on the creative class, public sector, and service economy.

Migration from Detroit

Migration to Austin

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/06/map-of-the-day-migration-nation/59056/