State-to-state migration in the US

Here’s an interactive visualization showing state-by-state migrations within the US, by Chris Walker.

It’s not possible to reconstruct all migrations between states from this chart. The data are available in a spreadsheet that the American Community Survey (part of the Census Bureau) puts out.

In case you’re wondering, the (ordered) pair of states with the most movement is California to Texas. Tyler Cowen would have forecasted that, but it’s worth pointing out that this is hardly surprising as California and Texas are the states with the largest population. Relative to the population of the target state, Californians are most likely to move to Nevada, Washington, Arizona, and Oregon; Texans are most likely to move to Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Arkansas. For non-American readers, I just said “people are most likely to move to nearby states”, which is the sort of thing that it’s easy to lose track of in my position living in San Francisco and generally surrounded by transplants from far away.

If I could spare the time I’d try to visualize this – which pairs of states have greater flows between them than would be expected from their populations and the distance between them? The prototype here would probably be the flow from the northeastern states to Florida.


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