Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ironic Migration: Talent Gravity Of New York

I've spent a lot of time looking at the migration patterns for cities such as Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and San Antonio. The obsession with population numbers and net migration glosses over a lot of economic development. The standard metrics are outdated, not all that useful. Consider the contrast between Manhattan and the Bronx:

New migration patterns identified by the Census’s 2006-2010 American Community Survey offer revealing insights into the ebb and flow of New York’s population. In any given year during that period, more people settled in Manhattan from Africa than from Puerto Rico.

Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Westchester, Fairfield and Los Angeles were among the counties that recorded a net gain in residents from Manhattan. Nassau; Suffolk; Bergen; Washington, D.C.; and Cook County, Ill., were among the losers.

The Bronx registered a net gain in population from every other borough, but exported more people to suburban Westchester, Orange, Dutchess, Rockland, Hudson and Bergen Counties. More people from the Bronx moved to Berks County in southeastern Pennsylvania than to either Fairfield or Suffolk.

In the zero-sum migration game, the Bronx is gaining Manhattan brains. In the globalization game, see yesterday's post, Manhattan is the clear winner. In terms of talent churn, the Bronx is local and Manhattan is global. The net migration numbers are irrelevant.

I'm in awe of New York's talent gravity. Looking at the migration through the lens of geography, I'm really in awe of Manhattan's talent gravity. That would likely hold true at an even smaller scale, the neighborhood. Neighborhoods are where you measure the impact of globalization and talent migration.


The Urbanophile said...

I think I looked at it once and the average incomes of the movers from Manhattan to the Bronx was very low. It looked to me like poor people getting pushed out more than anything.

Jim Russell said...

AGI of migrants is a powerful variable to add the usual metrics.