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Texans Don’t Want to Leave

Gallup moving map

Yesterday Gallup published a poll (see the map above) of the percentages of people in each of the United States who have a desire to move from their state. Texas was on the lowest end of the spectrum, with only 24 percent of us wanting to get out. Only Montana, Hawaii, and Maine (23 percent each) residents like where they are more.

It’s not surprising to see how many Texans are satisfied with their situation. With our relatively strong economy, relatively low cost of living, and our ridiculous sense of self-worth and belief in the exceptional nature of the Land of Friends, it’s to be expected.

See the rankings of the top and bottom of the list below. Half of everybody who lives in Illinois—the state of my birth and home to Heaven on Earth—want out. They cite the taxes.

Most-and-fewest-movers

Vox notes that fewer people are moving from state to state. The rate has fallen in half since 1990. The likely reason?

The economists who made that above chart, Greg Kaplan and Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, argued that the decline in moving in part happened because US jobs got less geographically specific, as they put it. Translated, that means it’s easier than it used to be to find a lot of the same sorts of jobs across a lot of different cities, as the Economist noted in 2012. A shift away from the goods-producing sector to services has helped this happen. Common services jobs, like healthcare and waitressing, can be done anywhere. But a lot of goods-producing jobs (manufacturing, mining, logging) have to be done in particular places (i.e. wherever the factories, mines, or trees are).

Likewise, there’s now more fluid information. People can easily look up places they might want to live. This could also be a factor that keeps people in place — they can research and hem and haw over a move, rather than crossing their fingers and driving across the country.