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Wednesday, 19th January 2011

Migration Declines Further: Stalling Brain Gains and Ambitions

Migration Declines Further: Stalling Brain Gains and Ambitions

Source:  Brookings Institution

The tepid gains in employment and the rise in home foreclosures over the last couple of years have led to an even further plummeting of the nation’s already historically low levels of long distance migration, as chronicled earlier. Between March 2009 and March 2010 interstate migration stood at 1.4 percent, lower than any year since the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey started collecting that data in 1948.

While there is some debate about how accurately the survey documents the timing of this decline, there is no doubt that the last three years have seen a plateau in migration for interstate moves and, in fact, total moves.

The stall has affected college graduates and young adults—groups usually among the most mobile and coveted—which tend to be the lifeblood of the labor force and responsive to shifts in national job networks.  Between 2008 and 2010, the annual interstate migration of this group fell to 2.1 percent, well below the levels of 3 percent and above earlier this decade and in the 1990s.  This is indicative of young adults encountering a brutal job market, as many double up or remain at home with their parents or other families. The annual migration rate for adults aged 25 to 29 fell to 3.2 percent in 2009–2010, also an historic low point for this usually highly mobile group.


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