Monday, December 26, 2011

Local Talent

People are leaving in droves. People aren't leaving in droves. Both are true in "stuck" states:

If you're home for the holidays, chances are you didn't have to go far to get there.

About 70 percent of Alabama's population was born in the state, according to figures recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. ...

... "I'm not too surprised," University of Alabama geography professor Bobby Wilson said when he saw the numbers. Alabama in general and Birmingham in particular have trailed the economic and population growth rates of neighbors in the Sun Belt. New migrants follow jobs.

"It basically reflects mobility and migration," he said.

At the same time that economic factors aren't pulling non-natives in, natives may have a greater tendency to stay, more of a sense of roots,Wilson said.

Most of Stuck America can be found in the Brain Drain Belt. Turns out that places struggling with population decline tend to have the highest percentage of natives. But that doesn't mean there isn't exodus. Huh?

The native statistics say more about inmigration than outmigration. 90% of the population could leave and there would still be a high percentage of residents who were born there. No outsiders, no Nevada-like demographics. Leaving home doesn't matter. There may be no more stuck people in Stuck America than in the rest of the country. The issue is that no one is moving to Stuck America.

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