Friday, March 14, 2014

Warm Januaries and Cold Julys: Climate Doesn’t Affect Human Migration Patterns

Dispelling the myth of climate amenities migration at Pacific Standard magazine.

Theme: Ironic demography.

Subject Article: "Is Chicago Too Cold to Compete With the South?"

Other Links: 1. "Randy Pausch's Last Lecture."
2. "Randy's Story."
3. "Figure 1. Temperature and State Growth, 1920-1980."
4. "Altered States: A Perspective on 75 Years of State Income Growth."
5. "Mayor Rahm Emanuel Makes First International Trip To Mexico City."

Postscript: Aaron Renn's summary of the impact of climate reputation on talent migration:

The reality is that the Midwest and Great Plains are already known for their lousy winters, and this particularly brutal one can’t be helping with near term recruitment. I don’t want to overstate the impact, but clearly it doesn’t help someone choose to live there vs. San Francisco, Austin, or even a Washington, DC.

I can imagine that someone given two choices for residence would pick the warmer January. Furthermore, people do move in hopes of finding paradise. But such migration is the exception, not the rule. Calgary, Alberta isn't booming because its climate beats Vancouver's. I live in the DC metro area. Traffic sucks. Housing is super expensive. Many people feel compelled to do insane commutes. And people keep moving here.

The positive correlation between warmer Januaries and robust population growth is strong. That doesn't mean that a better climate (or lower taxes) drives migration.

No comments: