In Forbes, demographer Joel Kotkin sees the Sunbelt South becoming even more dominant in economic power as the “new breed of carpetbaggers” flee the high tax, sluggish growth Blue States of the North and West:
“Perhaps the most persuasive evidence is the strong and persistent inflow of Americans to the South. The South still attracts the most domestic migrants of any U.S. region. Last year, it boasted six of the top eight states in terms of net domestic migration — Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia. Texas and Florida alone gained 250,000 net migrants. The top four losers were deep blue New York, Illinois, New Jersey and California….
These trends suggest that the South will expand its dominance as the nation’s most populous region. In the 1950s, the South, the Northeast and the Midwest each had about the same number of people. Today the region is almost as populous as the Northeast and the Midwest combined.
Why are people moving to what the media tends to see as a backwater? In part, it’s because economic growth in the South has outpaced the rest of the country for a generation and the area now constitutes by far the largest economic region in the country …”
Note: In my view, this raises the obvious question: why not independence? Why should the South be governed by a non-Southern majority of declining Blue States that are hostile toward our cultural values and economic development?
I can’t see this being a fortuitous development either if the influx of transplants just ends up recreating Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina in the image of Blue States like New York, New Jersey, and Illinois. Maybe their children will grow up as Southerners though like the children of European immigrants who assimilated into the dominant Yankee culture of the Northeast?