Wendell Cox at New Geography has a really smart post about how people are actually moving in droves to so-called “Flyover Country.” He measures domestic migration and finds that “what residents of Elitia reject, millions are embracing.” He notes that 3,500,000 Americans have moved to Flyover Country since 2000.
I thought it was a really interesting stat and a cool story, and so I dove into the demographics. As you can see on the map I made below, the coasts are indeed hemorrhaging residents (aka taxpayers, aka voters – I wrote in the Politico last year that the once mighty Empire State will finally drop below the once swampy backwater of Florida in congressional representation after 2012 reapportionment).
But while the South and Mountain West are gaining many people, is it accurate to say that Flyover Country as a whole is booming? I think if you asked most people which state represents Flyover Country, they would point to Kansas. It’s the quintessential middle American state: the Land of Dorthy and rejecter of Darwin. But this state experienced -2.4% domestic migration between 2000 and 2008.
Looks like not all of Flyover Country is doing well.
At the same time, Cox’s analysis is fascinating and he successfully debunks the myth that everyone is fleeing the bumpkinism of Middle America for a shot at the Big City.
But the question remains: What constitutes Flyover Country? … And does it include Florida?