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Millennial Migration
America’s Brains Move South

The educated elites of coastal blue cities tend to condescend to the supposedly racist and backward South. But in recent years, while San Francisco and New York continue to enjoy their status as progressive meccas, America’s college graduates have been sneaking out the back door. Demographer Wendell Cox ranks the top ten U.S. cities that are gaining college graduates most rapidly: New Orleans, LA; San Antonio, TX; Austin, TX; Nashville, TN; Louisville, KY; Houston, TX; Denver, CO; Salt Lake City, UT; Jacksonville, FL; and Raleigh, NC, in that order.

Conspicuously absent from that list are SF, NY, LA, DC and Boston. Joel Kotkin has more:

What is happening in New Orleans, where I have worked as a consultant, is unique, but it also follows a broader pattern that we see in other areas. Unable to afford to settle long-term in traditional “brain centers,” educated people are increasingly looking for places that have strong economies but also many of the cultural and natural amenities associated with the traditional meccas for the educated. With housing prices that are half to a third of Silicon Valley or San Francisco, New Orleans offered educated workers, particularly younger ones, many of the things they look for, but at an affordable cost.

“For $65,000 a year in San Francisco you get a shared apartment and no car,” says long-time New Orleans tech entrepreneur Chris Reed. ”Here, you get great restaurants and clubs, and you get to have a car and your own nice apartment. It’s a no-brainer.”

This isn’t a big surprise. America’s bastions of blue model governance tend not to provide a high quality of life for people just starting out. Decades of brilliantly crafted progressive policy have helped make the cost of renting an apartment, becoming a homeowner and starting a family simply untenable for recent graduates and people in the early stages of their career. Young people are figuring out not only that a much higher quality of life exists elsewhere, but that the coastal metropolises don’t have a monopoly on culture and fun.

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  • Dan

    just hope they don’t vote in the policies that made the blue model places the way they are and screw the next generation

    • FUBAR_007

      …which, of course, they’re already doing. Austin and Denver, for instance, are already Blue islands amidst oceans of Red.

    • Ghosts of Benghazi

      Sadly inevitable……

    • Boritz

      They have less grasp of cause and effect than my cat.

    • John Morris

      Which is why Red states need to start passing ‘anti-Blue Laws’ to stop the crazier Blues from making more Colorado situations. Pass laws we don’t even like much ourselves if it takes it, just make sure any true blue would recoil in horror and pick somewhere else to escape the sewer they have made in whatever blue hellhole they are running from.

  • bigfire

    Like I said before, as a conservative Californian, I want all of the would be escapee from the Golden State to stay put. I do NOT want to pollute the rest of the country with our political diseases.

    • Jagneel

      Time to move to beautiful Odessa, TX, boy!

    • teapartydoc

      I have relatives in California. It would be a disaster in the making if they were to move to my state. Boy, are they infected, and their personal lives are disasters, too.

      • Jim__L

        Some of us are still resistant, but it involves living in constant pain.

  • FUBAR_007

    I just followed your link to Thompson’s book. I don’t entirely disagree with his conclusion even though I don’t much agree with his characterizations.

    At this point, Red America and Blue America should cut each other loose. Re-federate the country. Make participation in federal programs optional on a state-by-state basis. Something.

    Neither side will ever simply go away. Neither side will ever completely cave to the other. Nor is either side ever going to commit fully to the compromises necessary to make the country truly Purple.

    It’s a lousy marriage, and it always has been. Let’s negotiate the divorce and be done with it.

    • Andrew Allison

      It’s only been a lousy marriage since compromise became unfashionable and the “I won’t abide by laws with which I disagree” attitude prevalent. Given the geographic distribution of teams Blue and Red, breaking up is not really an option. A better one, IMO, is to return to the States the rights which have been subsumed by all three branches of the Federal government. It’s my impression that the rot set in with Roe v. Wade, a case which the Supreme Court should never have accepted: irreconcilable difference can’t be resolved at the national level. Education, Healthcare and gun control are examples of other issues in which the Feds have no business. Let the States decide, and let the citizenry act accordingly (as is being demonstrated by the migration of Californians to Texas).

      • Jim__L

        When it’s winner-take-all at the federal level, what choice does anyone of conscience have but civil disobedience?

        • Andrew Allison

          With respect, I think that you are conflating legal and constitutional issues. Civil disobedience was the only way to deal with the violation of constitutional civil rights embodied Jim Crow Laws laws and all that went with them. I suspect that civil disobedience on a large scale would also result from an attempt to ban gun ownership. I’m not sure what you mean by winner-take-all at the Federal level, but if you mean majority votes by our elected reprehensatives (on both sides), the solution is to try and change them, not civil disobedience. One way to do this wold be, as I suggested, returning State’s Rights to the States.

          • Jim__L

            We are seeing Constitutional issues.

            Freedom of conscience is being violated on a regular basis by those who would force everyone to celebrate their lifestyles.

            We’ve also got Federal interference in aspects of life and business well beyond Constitutional writ.

            Honestly, I’m not sure what you’re referring to that isn’t a Constitutional issue.

          • Andrew Allison

            Jim, thank you for your willingness to engage in a civil debate. I agree that freedom of conscience is being grossly violated by all and sundry (witness the absolutely disgraceful attack on Eich, the attacks on right-to-life proponents, etc.). But the difference between conscience and constitution is exactly my point.
            The major constitutional issue, IMNHO, is the relinquishment (in exchange for federal largesse) of State’s Rights to the Federal government. What, other than the gross violations on the part of the Administration wrt ACA, etc., are the issues that you see?

    • Jagneel

      Rest of the country should secede from south. This way we don’t have to suffer these teaparty megachurch type of idiocy.
      And new Jesus land can have creationism in place of biology, and can do without gun or incest laws.

      • rebublican

        HAHAHHAHAHAHA This has to be a parody. I realize most “Progressives” are stupid, but this is borderline schizophrenia.

      • qet

        Yes, this is exactly what the others here are saying, albeit at a more elevated level. We need no longer all pretend that we respect pluralism when it is clear that most of us do not.

      • Fred

        If you’re not bpuharic, you certainly do a good bpuharic impression. Ah well, trolls are like cockroaches: filthy disgusting creatures one instinctively wants to smash but unfortunately, indestructible as a species.

  • Jagneel

    And those southern cities will begin to resemble the coastal cities. Hee haw!

  • Alex K.

    It’s been going on for more than a decade, much to the benefit of those Southern and mid-American cities. The influx of educated, law-abiding, hard-working individuals has been a blessing for them.

  • Jim__L

    Anyone interested in a normal human life (with family, hobbies, a yard, free time, vacations, etc) SHOULD NOT MOVE to the Bay Area or NYC.

    Just don’t do it.

    Do yourself, and the country, and the human race a favor — start a company right where you are, wherever that is.

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