The political and cultural war between red and blue America may not have been resolved in our lives, but it is clear which side is gaining ground economically and demographically. In all areas, from new jobs to dealing with new technologies, fertility rates, population growth and migration, it is the red states that have the increasing advantage.
Perhaps the most surprising development is the economic one. In the past ten years the national mediaand much of science has accepted the notion that the future was one of the high tax and upregulation countries on the east and west coast. According to the federal government, the red states have been largely dismissed New York Times, as the country of the “left behind”.
However, those lagging behind are catching up as the economic dynamics shift away from coastal reductions towards the traditionally GOP-oriented countries. A few years ago, states like California, Massachusetts, and New York held their own when measuring income growth using the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Now the fastest growth is focused on the sun belt and the Great Plains. Income of the Texans in the last BEA estimates for 2019 was 4.2 percent above 3.6 percent in California and two times above 2.1 percent in New York. The biggest jumps – and that may play a major role in 2020 – took place in Dakotas, Nebraska and Iowa.
The same pattern is visible in Total employment growth, In the past ten years, only two blue states – California and Washington – have been included in the top ten. Last year, the economic analysis firm EMSI estimated that only purple Colorado was the top, led by Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Texas and Florida. In these top states, almost twice as many jobs are being created as in California, and even faster than in the laggards like New York or New Jersey.
Without exception, the large blue states, even if they are doing well, have generally recorded slow population growth. Now some, especially New York, are actually losing population. CaliforniaThe once beacon of growth shows practically no growth: a state with almost 40 million inhabitants won just under 50,000 last year.
Virtually all states that lose native migrants are deep blue. The Census Bureau estimates that New York was at the top of the losing countries between 2010 and 2019 with a net migration loss of 1.379 million, followed by California (912,000), Illinois (856,000) and New Jersey (491,000). The big winners were red, led by Florida, which won 1.29 million, Texas (1.15 million), North Carolina (476,000) and Arizona (454,000). These states are often the targets for refugees from blue states.
Some blue-country cheerleaders are suggesting that the brain drain is driven by angry elderly people who lack the skills necessary for a high-tech economy. But much of the migration is the result of more people, especially MillennialsOvercoming metropolitan areas with large and dense city centers to more dispersed and more affordable urban locations. Data developed by William Frey from the Brookings Institution indicate that all ten metropolitan areas with the largest net immigration from 2012 to 2017 were in the south and west, while a reverse youth movement has occurred in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. By the early 1930s, many were trying to nest in countries where property prices were lower. In markets such as Columbus, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston, real estate prices adjusted for income are between a third and a half below those in Los Angeles or San Francisco. These migrants often go to suburban areas with good schools and safe roads. Such areas also exist in the blue states, but they tend to be more expensive.
The immigration flows, which for a long time have been a source of demographic vitality for the cities on the coast, have shifted inland Brookings has noted. From 2010 to 2018, the overseas population of Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Columbus, Charlotte, Nashville and Orlando grew by more than 20 percent, while the overseas population of San Francisco grew by only 11 percent and that of New York by 5 percent. Los Angeles suffered a loss of almost 1 percent. Foreign-born people are also increasingly traveling to unlikely places like North Dakota, with growth of 115 percent abroad and South Dakota (58 percent), while states like Minnesota and Iowa grew by more than 25 percent.
Blue-state boosters insist that talent only accumulates in elite cities like San Francisco, New York, West Los Angeles or Seattle. However, companies looking to hire trained workers are increasingly flocking to cities like Dallas-Fort Worth, Orlando, Nashville, and other affordable red-state metros. The move of company headquarters is particularly pronounced an estimated 1,800 companies from California to Lone Star State in just one year. These companies are not only low-wage employers, but also high-paying companies such as Toyota, Nissan, McKesson, Bechtel, Jacobs, Parsons and Sanford Bernstein. Once a job magnet, California has emerged as the largest job sender to Texas. Between 2000 and 2013, the Golden State created more than 51,000 jobs, about a fifth of all jobs relocated to Texas. The last poll for Chief Executive Magazine Texas, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Indiana are considered more business-friendly, while the blue bastions of California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Connecticut were at the bottom.
The effects on the growth of the higher wage sector are obvious. In the category of business and professional employment, the largest source of high-wage jobs, the largest increases over the decade have been recorded in Utah, the Carolinas and Texas; The top 10 included only blue Oregon and purple Colorado, which included some surprising midwestern states like Missouri, Michigan and North Dakota. In the past year, the red-blue gap has widened, with Utah and Idaho growing almost 50 percent faster than California and almost five times faster than New York or New Jersey. Even the high-tech sector, long grouped in a handful of spaces is gradually moving towards red America. In the past decade, three prominent blue states – California, New York and Washington – have been in the top ten, with North Carolina, Utah and South Dakota at the top. Last year, however, New York fell toward the middle, while Idaho, Utah and Tennessee took the top spots.
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Joel Kotkin is President Fellow for Urban Futures at Chapman University and Executive Director of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism. His latest book is The human city: urbanism for the rest of us, Wendell Cox is a principal of Demographia, a public affairs firm, and a senior fellow at the Center for Opportunity Urbanism.
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