Thursday, January 18, 2007

Domestic Diasporas

Denver is booming, no thanks to tolerance:

Complaining about Californians is an old tradition in the Rockies; but it is reaching a new intensity. Five million people who were born in California now live outside the state. They are America's second-biggest domestic diaspora, after New Yorkers, and the most noticeable. California is by far the most populous state in the West—and still growing rapidly. It has become a demographic machine, drawing in foreigners while disgorging its own population across the deserts and mountains. In the process, it transforms those areas.

The migration of Californians is remaking Interior Mountain West and The Economist article notes a couple of new characteristics of the latest wave of "Californication":

  1. The new arrivals are much more liberal, and tolerant, than established residents (previous waves were largely Orange County conservatives).
  2. Hispanics make up a substantial number the "equity refugees" (putting an end to the trend of white flight).
Given the DECADES of exodus, where are all the stories about brain drain? Foreigners more than make up for out-migration, fighting against the tide of ballooning real estate prices. What we are witnessing is a major secondary migration, staffing Colorado's tech boom. But tolerance did not pull them here. Cheap real estate, a pleasant climate, great outdoor opportunities, and less traffic did.

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