Overall migration rates in America appear to be down in the wake of the Great Recession, reaching the lowest levels recorded since the 1940's. While some statisticians argue that changes in data collection over time have led to an overstatement of such changes, there seems little doubt that "interstate migration has been trending downward for many years," regardless of recent recessionary effects. That said, Americans remain a mobile people. Each year, millions of Americans make an interstate move. While overall migration rates may be down, "the commonly held belief that Americans are more mobile than their European counterparts still appears to hold true." In good times and bad, the draw of opportunity in a new state still remains a siren call for many Americans.
Adding a bit of information on current American migration patterns, Atlas Van Lines, a major American moving company, recently released it's annual data on interstate moves. A plurality of states (24) had a balance between inbound and outbound moves. Magnet states included the upper south (TN and NC), the capital region (DC, VA, and MD), and hubs of energy production, including North Dakota, Texas, and Alaska. Many Midwest and Great Lakes states had more outbound movers than inbound. While the Atlas numbers don't mesh completely with Census migration estimates, they may lend some support to Wendell Cox's argument that domestic migration may be returning to some sort of normalcy. Simply put, people continue to go where they can find work, economic opportunity, reasonable costs of living, and good weather.