Americans Are Moving Where They Want. Will It Be a Win for Choice or Polarization?

We can increasingly live where we please while working jobs of our choice. What we do with that bonanza is up to us.


Get outta town! Seriouslyif you started this year as a resident of one of America's megalopolises, there's a good chance that you've at least considered leaving, whether or not you followed through. In the midst of a pandemic that has closed or restricted access to so many of the things that make otherwise crowded and expensive cities enjoyable while simultaneously normalizing the practice of working from home, people are on the move. Data shows Americans flowing from places where they had to live to places where they want to reside.

This mobility is one of the few upsides of the COVID-19 eraa victory for choice in how and where people settle down. It's also, however, an acceleration of decades of sorting that has seen us separate into tribes based on living habits and culture. Given that lifestyle correlates so closely with political affiliation, the victory for choice could mean even greater political polarization in the years to come.

Even before the great viral apocalypse of 2020, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York were losing population to other areas, especially in the South and Southwest. But the trend has accelerated and spread during the pandemic.

"Fresh data from LinkedIn's Economic Graph team shows that smaller metro areas are gaining, some famous big cities are slipping, and hints of de-urbanization can be found across the country," George Anders wrote for LinkedIn at the end of September. "In the most striking switch, two giant metro areasNew York and the San Francisco Bay Areaaren't coveted destinations anymore."

Among the reasons he cited for the urban exodus are that "theaters are closed, nightlife has dwindled and even a walk along prime shopping streets isn't effortless anymore."

Anders spoke with the owner of a relocating firm and found that "lower costs and growing acceptance of a work-anywhere attitude in response to pandemic dislocations helped spur that decision."

Likewise, United Van Lines, one of the country's leading movers, this month "revealed higher outbound move requests from New York City and San Francisco as compared to nationwide averages" with life changes wrought by the pandemic as a major motivator.

The company cited one customer saying that "the slower pace of life brought on by COVID-19 caused us to re-evaluate what was important to our family." Another told the company that "given the remote environment and projected vision of remote working condition, our family opted to move out of the city to a beach location with a smaller footprint and less stressful (and) busy community."

Paula Campbell Roberts, an analyst for the investment firm KKR, believes "rhetoric around the 'great urban exodus' is likely overblown," but only in an absolute sensethat is, she doesn't see Americans moving back to the farm. Instead, people and businesses are dispersing to a variety of destinations. "COVID has only accelerated the growth of medium-sized cities, as well as exurbs and suburbs near gateway cities. Amid growth in southern and medium-sized cities nationally, the locus of economic activity should disperse among multiple metropolitan nodes beyond gateway cities."

Too many of these moves are done out of financial desperation as social distancing and lockdown orders choke businesses and kill jobs. Moving back home with your parents because there's no money for rent isn't something that most adults want to do.

On the other hand, working remotely has achieved new acceptance among employers and is a major draw for job-seekers. That means an explosion in possibilities for people in work that can be done remotely, who are increasingly able take jobs that are physically located in one place while we live in another.

"The places where Americans are moving in the midst of COVID-19 may finally be expressing a more fundamental preference for how they really want to live instead of where they have to stay because of their job location or where their kids go to school," Peter Lane Taylor noted for ForbesLife. "COVID is accelerating demographic trends that were already in place before the pandemic, especially when it comes to businesses seeking places to expand that are pro-growth, low-tax, politically stable, and stacked with an educated work force in advanced degrees."

Put another way, the pandemic is speeding-up Americans' decades-old shift toward places where they feel comfortable and can live the lifestyles that appeal to themwhat the author Bill Bishop calls The Big Sort in his book of that name. And, it turns out, political views correlate closely with lifestyle preferences.

"In what may seem like stereotypes come to life, a new Pew Research Center study on political polarization finds that conservatives would rather live in large houses in small towns and rural areasideally among people of the same religious faithwhile liberals opt for smaller houses and walkable communities in cities, preferably with a mix of different races and ethnicities," Pew Research reported in 2014.

Once in communities of people with shared hobbies, values, and ideologies, we amplify each other's identities. "The self-reinforcing dynamics of homophily and influence dramatically amplify even very small elective affinities between lifestyle and ideology, producing a stereotypical world of 'latte liberals' and 'bird-hunting conservatives' much like the one in which we live," researchers find.

That gets even more self-fulfilling, since "fully half of consistent conservatives, and 35% of consistent liberals, say it's important to live in a place where most people share their political views," according to Pew.

The pandemic-accelerated changes in American life, then, are simultaneously giving us more of what we wantlife where we like, choosing from a menu of remote jobs, and doing what makes us happy among like-minded neighborseven as it puts as at ever-greater odds with those who have different preferences.

The solution to the "problem" created by this explosion of choices seems obvious: Encourage local control so that like-minded people can run things their own way without worrying about the disapproval of people who live and think differently. We can live separately and even scoff at one another without being at each other's throatsif we can leave each other alone.

But that may be too sensible for modern Americans. Amidst a beneficial, though accidental, bonanza of living options created as a byproduct of the pandemic, we may insist on finding grounds for more conflict rather than a source of shared happiness.

NEXT: You Can't Always Trust What You Hear Online, and Congress Has Some Ideas About Fixing That

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  2. Division. These people are fleeing blue provinces like locusts and will continue to vote like they always have.

    1. They just have to vote for the right people this time.

      1. It was just bad luck that these policies didn’t work in the cities they are leaving

        1. Are you being serious or facetious? If serious, I can’t believe you are that stupid, if facetious, I get it.

            1. Is that facetious or factitious?

              The same question…no, not that question…has been approached when the migration is international. Do jurisdictions cream from the place of origin, or get a random sample?

              There’ll be some who recognize the cause of the problems they’re getting away from. And there’ll be some who recognize only the symptoms, and have come to think of the cause as the norm. I’m not sure of the net.

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              2. facetious : 1. : joking or jesting often inappropriately 2. 2 : meant to be humorous or funny : not serious
                factitious: 1. : produced by humans rather than by natural forces
                2. : formed by or adapted to an artificial or conventional standard
                I would think from context, facetious would be obvious. Are you a Democrat by chance?

                1. You might note that John used neither of those words. He used factious – related or inclined to a state of faction. Although it’s certainly true that one could be factious and facetious at the same time.

              3. From anecdote, I do know of a CA liberal who thinks CA’s problems were because of Republicans.

                How they get that from a state that has locked out the Rs for over 10 years is a mystery…

      2. From your lips to Gods ears.

        We’ve seen this phenomenon for years right here in CA as former metropolis residents move to more rural areas for “the freedom” and then demand all the same government “services” they were used to and bring all the same crap they are running from.

    2. A lot of the people fleeing ruined blue states are conservatives though.

      1. Funny; that explains why all [R] states are starting to turn blue.

        1. Yes that is the problem with most Democrats, they cannot think critically or reason soundly.

        2. Politics is relative. A conservative Republican in NJ is a centrist Democrat in NC.

          1. ^^^ This.

            1. ^And next think you know lefties will be wearing their shoes on their head because a head is actually a foot.

          2. You mean like real estate?

            Location. Location. Location?

            It’s amazing to me when I read the stories in the local paper about the undoing of any semblance of the middle class and, the “unfairness” of it all here in the SF Bay Area. They always focus on how a teacher’s or a carpenter’s wages here can’t even afford the rent in SF or the silicone valley. And of course, the answer is always a Robin Hood government that enacts legislation to “fix” these problems.

            I don’t know. I grew up here and many desirable cities I’d like to live in have always been unaffordable to me, without significant sacrifice. Even as my net worth has moved into the upper 5% nationwide! That’s just the way things are and I never made the necessary sacrifices to get there. Although I always had that option.

            Life’s a bitch and then you marry one……if you’re lucky my wife likes to say.

        3. When does “starting” mean? I’m interested in what you see as the time frame.

          1. Right? This made sense maybe 5-10 years ago, but today people are FLEEING blue states, not just leaving them.

            1. People are fleeing Red States in droves, too, however.

    3. “We ate all the good-grass in CA; time to move on and go eat-some more good-grass that we’ll pretend is *free* by voting for mob-stolen-property is a right!”

    4. Yep, all the citified raging liberals evacuating from the places they’ve destroyed, out to the country, where they’ll immediately set to work expecting to change everything to the way it was where they came from and fully expecting everybody to just see it their way.

      “Ok, guyz… I’m here now with my male-bun, we all need to get rid of the gunz, cause they scare me” “And what’s with all this toxic masculinity?”
      “I need a special bathroom, just for me” & “You can’t do that anymore, it hurtful”.

  3. the freedoms to be and associate outweigh political polarization.

    1. I earnestly wish you were right, but I don’t believe it.

      1. I never limit my friends by for whom they vote. I know others do.

        1. I insist my friends keep their hands out of my pockets. Their politics definitely inform who they are and what they are willing to do to me.

          You should be much more discriminating in what you accept in your life.

    2. More wearing shoes on your head… Political polarization is exactly the consequence of LACK of “freedoms to be”. One side driving a all-powerful-gov-dictation (The [WE] foundation) the other insisting Individual Justice and Liberty (The U.S. Constitution).

      1. if you think you move the machine the shoes are likely on your head.

  4. The hope that people will just get along will remain forlorn as long as government meddles so much in our lives. Different people want different meddling, and with government, you get only one choice; thus the polarization. The only solution is to reduce government meddling, and since there’s no way to reduce all meddling at once, no one wants to give up their meddling first in the hope that others will follow suit.

    The only solution I see is for people to use government less. Around here, more people barter now than before, and not just pot farms and other black market stuff. People trade firewood for dentistry, rides for cash, and none of that is reported as income. I think there may be a day when most of the economy is local or dark web barter, and the government will have less to meddle with. Whether it would actually wither away, I doubt; but I think it will shrink enough for people to not spend so much effort making it meddle with others before other make it meddle with them.

    1. Progressive: “Less government? But that’s anarchy! Government is the source of all our solutions! Can’t eliminate injustice without central direction by our wise leaders!”

      Conservative: “Less government? But that’s anarchy! We need strong leaders to drain the swamp! Can’t make America Great Again without a terrifically massive budget!”

      They’re both rock on roll, but one is more Swedish death metal while the other is more Finnish death metal.

      1. ^More lefty buffoonery; “The left is just like the right.”

        Ironically; Drain the swamp MEANS less political trash in the system.

        1. It is a pattern when every leftitarian supports the both sides angle without even a hint of deep analysis.

  5. Polarization? What polarization

    I understand the argument that it’s unhealthy for a new administration to investigate the previous administration. But it seems even less healthy to send the message that the most powerful people in the country can’t ever be held accountable for what they did in office.


      US cultural and media elites so deeply crave a dramatic, psychologically gratifying conclusion to the Trump saga that they’ll continue projecting insane post-election scenarios (Civil War, violent militia insurgency, etc) that are just figments of their very troubled imaginations

      1. This person is fucking delusional. There is already an active insurgency in left-wing cities and towns, and if they lose the election they will absolutely attempt to nationalize their movement into a violent civil war. Fortunately the insurgents are all a bunch of LARPing middle class white faggot doughboys like Garrett Foster. But make no mistake, they will have the entire force of government behind them.

      2. I see NOTHING unhealthy about the new crooks investigating the previous crooks. I would rather they did, in fact, not only to deter politicians from being crooks, but to keep them all busy and with less time to plan future crookology.

        1. Exactly. You have two choices, either the crooks investigate each other and you achieve some measure of accountability or they agree never to investigate each other and know they can act with impunity. I will take the former.

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          2. There is no honor among thieves. So, best just keep it going.

        2. That’d work if the establishment and the clerisy weren’t part of one team of crooks too.

        3. ” I would rather they did, in fact, not only to deter politicians from being crooks”

          You’re in the wrong country. Try South Korea. The previous two presidents are currently in the slammer for corruption and incompetence. A couple more did time after the introduction of democracy in the past two decades or so.

          1. Actually, that’s a great idea. Four in office and four in the slammer. We’d get a whole breed of politician with that kind of a program.

      3. The Reason comment section is full of “US cultural and media elites”?

    2. Much like pronouns in the bio, masks in the profile pic are a sign that I can safely dismiss everything that person says.

      1. yes. also Dear Madison Avenue I change the channel every time I see a mask in a commercial. we’re *not* all in this together.

      2. should be all you need to see before moving to disregard.

    3. Balko’s lack of self-awareness in that tweet is off the charts.

  6. How elitist.
    The poor cannot work from home, they have to go stock Hiden’ Biden’s grocery shelves.
    Until there is a federal program to find a new job for anyone who wants to move, and another federal program to pay for their move, we must prohibit the few that can afford to move from doing so.
    For the children.

    1. California wants to tax people for leaving California i wonder when they will require people living out of state but work online for a California company to pay taxes in Cali, they may already ?

      1. i wonder when they will require people living out of state but work online for a California company to pay taxes in Cali, they may already ?

        There’s absolutely nothing to stop them from doing so after the Wayfair decision.

        1. A new SCOTUS that actually understands the commerce clause.

      2. It depends. The employer can set up a Tax ID in the state of employee residence. Lots of small companies have remote and field employees in other states.

        They have to play by the rules of the state where the employee is located. At least for “field” employees. It might be different for “remote” employees.

        1. California will not just let those tax dollars slip away.

      3. Ask any professional sports team member.

        1. There is a reason some players don’t want to play for a California team. Entertainers are known for tracking their time in California to avoid being domiciled there.

      4. In a sense, this is actually a good thing. It sucks for the refugees, but at least it will remind them of why they left California for a few years.

  7. The fraction of people in the work force who can work from home without consequence is minuscule. There’s only so many positions where one can sit on their fat, bloated, drunken ass all day sniping on Twitter like a teenage girl in exchange for a paycheck. About 95% of society is outside actually performing valuable work in order to enable a comfortable lifestyle for you. Stay in your shitholes, because your potential new neighbors are not going to like you anymore than you like them, and to your utter amazement, they can actually read and comprehend the contempt in which you hold them. You’ve already structured society, the economy, and government against them. When you start encroaching on their physical space and very existence, you’re going to find out how your 2 weeks of carrying an illegal pistol in New York City back when you were a yung guff gai stacks up against a lifetime of actually killing shit.

    1. Except California will mandate that 60% of your workforce must work from home after the pandemic is over, so you better hire more office workers.

    2. Sounds like someone can’t work from home and is awfully bitter about it. Maybe learn to code?

      1. Who is going to fix my HVAC?

        Based on my most recent, six figure quotes for an all electric house per CA directive, they must be making more than the techies.

    3. You seem to have little idea how much valuable work can be accomplished from home. My field, biotechnology, is now largely info technology. If you add in people’s ability to set up a lab in their garage or house, that’s even more work-from-home ability. Add in remote teaching, that’s even more of it.

      Meanwhile, more of the gotta-physically-be-there work can be done by machines.

      So it’s not all Twitting for a paycheck. And I’m sure at least some of the solicitations in this very thread for work at home will net people actual pay.

      1. I understand you can earn up to $US 5 an hour tagging photos for Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

      2. So we can blame you when the grey goo eats the neighborhood? 🙂

  8. Social media has intentionally torn away any semblance of a connection between the sides in pursuit of profit.

    As long as social media exists, polarization is the only option.

    1. in pursuit of profit.

      LOL. What a fucking joke. They have rejected profit in service of their political agenda, and most of these companies are not now and have never been profitable in the first place. They are playthings of wealthy benefactors. They don’t give a fuck about money. It’s not profitable to preach to a choir that consists entirely of radical Marxist campus activists. This is about power, pure and simple.

      1. Call it Revenue, then.

        In 2019, Facebook’s revenue amounted to 70.7 billion US dollars, up from 55.8 billion U.S. dollars in the previous fiscal year. The social network’s main source of income is digital advertising.Feb 3, 2020

        1. And they continue to spend more than they earn, as they continue to lose active monthly users, enabled by a constant influx of capital from multibillionaire benefactors whose agenda they advance to the exclusion of new opportunities to sell advertising. This is a repeat of what happened in the legacy media which is why the nation’s largest newspapers are now wholly-owned by billionaire benefactors whose agenda comprises the paper’s editorial stance. There’s a reason why Mother Jones doesn’t get the kind of ad spend that Better Homes and Gardens does. But the great thing about being an oligopoly with special legal privileges who gets to gatekeep access to information for the benefit of a wealthy patron is that you can publish like Mother Jones while still maintaining the reach of Better Homes and Gardens.

          1. You might want to actually look up Facebook’s financials instead of spreading made up bullshit

  9. It’s not division. It’s tunnel vision. This will breed even more disconnect between the professional pundits and the real world. Which is fine, until they feel compelled to force everyone else to conform.

    I subscribe to the NYT daily email, and it reads like it’s written by someone who is very smart, but doesn’t actually know anything. I expected it to be written by a 25 year old Harvard grad, but what I found was worse. A 50 year old, third generation new yorker with a degree in math. It’s completely disconnected from how real people live and think and make decisions.

    I think we’re going to get a whole lot more of that. The ones who truly “get it” are the ones opting out to work from the beach. The “left behind” will be the DC Swamp creatures.

  10. “Even before the great viral apocalypse of 2020, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York were losing population to other areas, especially in the South and Southwest. But the trend has accelerated and spread during the pandemic.”

    Cities are the wave of the future, something something clingers.

    1. They will be once they are connected by high-speed rail.

  11. I’ve lived in the most conservative county in the state, and in the most liberal county in the state. My preference? NEITHER OF THEM!

    Once a party or ideology or whatever reaches a certain critical threshold, all thought ceases and everything is geared towards rooting out the non-believers. It’s quite hostile. And I’m NOT talking about current cancel culture shit, I’m talking about experiences over the past thirty years. When someone assumes that everyone around them believes automatically believes the same thing they do, it’s quite a problem. Even if you agree with them, but especially if you don’t.

    As a libertarian I can look at this from an outside viewpoint. The conservatives aren’t as bad as the progressives when it comes to thought control, but get a large enough concentration of them and they’re just as stifling.

    So I prefer locales where there is a healthy mix of opinion. Because it means a healthy society. A society that doesn’t automatically see “outsiders” as deadly enemies to their way of life.

    1. How are conservatives just as stifling? Pick up the doll and show us where the evil conservatives touched you. Show your work.

      1. Waiting until noon to purchase booze. Repression.

        1. In 2020, having to wait to buy alcohol is oppression.

          This is the Year of Day Drinking.

          I don’t drink, but I can emphatically say that I have partaken in more day smoking this year than every other year combined since I started in 94.

        2. Governor Blackface declared the Virginia ABC stores essential during the height of the carnivorous scare.

      2. Are you capable of understanding the concept that other people may have had different experiences in life than you have?

        1. I understand that just fine. If you want to claim that, you need to explain what those experiences. Are and not just make bald assertions

          1. I’ve seen the phenomenon Brandybuck describes plenty in the company of “conservatives”. People stop thinking and just stereotype on both “left” and “right” and also in tendencies that don’t fit on that spectrum. Both pro- and anti-abortionists assumed I wanted abortions to be illegal because Roe v. Wade was some mixture of the shits of horse and bull. But they also assumed my position on abortion from other opinions I either shared with them or opposed them on.

            1. In online discussions where the participants don’t know one another, I’m continually amused by the people who will note a single position I hold in opposition to their own and decide that I must be their diametrical opposite in everything.

      3. “How are conservatives just as stifling? ”

        Ask Peter Fonda, shot dead by rednecked conservatives as he was smuggling drugs on his chopper. Or Dennis Hopper, who also may have been shot dead by the same bunch though we don’t know for sure.

    2. But libertarianism is an ideology too, and I see no reason to think it wouldn’t be susceptible to this same malign tendency. I already saw the Libertarian Party develop into an end in itself, disconnected from any effort at real-world progress. And it’s even true of -isms that are not overtly political.

    3. That’s completely wrong.
      I disagree with every word you said.
      In conservative areas it is completely “live and let live “.
      In democrat areas, the cities vote things like gun control in the suburbs have to conform.
      In Republican controlled ares, you are free to speak your mind, no one will attack you for “hate speech “.
      It is only in democrat controlled areas that your teeth are knocked out for advocating for free speech

      1. I am replying to Brandybuck I who said conservative and liberal areas are both stifling

  12. Yeah we get some of these east and west coast types that move here and think we’ll agree with them. They quickly learn that nobody here is buying what they’re selling. They live in this deluded online world in which 8 year old Joe Biden in the 1950s saw two guys kiss and realized his life’s dream was politics despite voting for the Defense of Marriage Act and saying gay marriage was wrong for years.

    There’s some weird disconnect in the left wing brain that accepts only certain information. I guess it’s conformity to whatever ideas are new and untested. It’s not important to be correct it’s just important to go along to get along maybe. They are sort of Costanza like – “conformity is an obsession with me” and “it’s not a lie if you believe it” kind of mentality. I suppose I could dredge up Orwell and the whole Eurasia/Eastasia thing but that’s just obvious.

    Unfortunately for those stuck in blue state left wing areas your police and DAs are on the side of the progtard cabals. You will conform, but if you do move just realize the rest of America outside your walls does not like you very much at all.

  13. On the other hand it could lead to less polarization. Living in a metropolis there isn’t much opportunity to come in contact with real life conservative leaning individuals. Getting out of the bubble will lead to more interaction. They may find the guy down the street isn’t a knuckle dragging fundie racist and seems to be an alright guy. Never know.

    1. Living in a metropolis there isn’t much opportunity to come in contact with real life conservative leaning individuals.

      Who will admit it.

    2. <

      They may find the guy down the street isn’t a knuckle dragging fundie racist and seems to be an alright guy.

      Possible, but unlikely.

    3. So; this is what I’ve seen happen over and over and over again.

      New Lefty down the road that works for gov-paid position-X, “Let’s all vote to STEAL more money so criminals don’t get their feeling hurt.”

      Real Life producer of free-market goods, “No, no; that’s not how we do things around here and frankly stealing makes you kind of a P.O.S.”

      New Lefty, Sniffles + Show of arrogance, “You stupid knuckle dragging fun-die racists hurt my feelings.”

      — Calls ALL the criminals back home in lefty land insisting they come join so I won’t be so alone with all these ‘racists’.

      1. Need proof; Look no farther than gag-law and the dairy industry. Where lefties are actively driving their cars into peoples back yard, running over fences, peeking through windows claiming “this is public land” — “You didn’t build that! [WE] did.”

        1. The amazing ability to TAKE other peoples property, money, labor(i.e. slavery), or anything else they want using the magical term [WE].

          1. Who is going to fix my HVAC?

            Based on my most recent, six figure quotes for an all electric house per CA directive, they must be making more than the techies.

  14. The libertarians were all supposed to move to New Hampshire and make it the Free State. No reason not to now.

    1. Should have picked Wyoming.

      1. Why not somewhere warm?

        1. Because everywhere warm is full of people.

          Wyoming would be the ideal place.

  15. One funny thing about people fleeing California is that I’ll bet they took the weather for granted. That’s one thing that most of California has that other places don’t have, almost constant perfect weather (except for the fires of course). It’s very easy to go outside and stay there most of the day. This makes it easier to stay active and healthy, etc. So if you move from California to, say, Texas, you’ll now experience 100 degree summers with high humidity and sort of coldish winters and way more rain. Or if they move to Florida they don’t have cold winters per se, but the heat and humidity is almost year round and you have regular thunderstorms and the occasional hurricane. I predict lots of these people will not have the same frame of mind in year 2 of their new homes just because of the weather.

    1. Oh yeah, and don’t forget about mosquitoes.

    2. Oh yeah, I just remembered meeting someone who moved from CA to MD two years ago and she said she gained 15 pounds and says she misses CA and was happier there. I didn’t ask why she moved though.

    3. The weather is important. Every time I think about leaving the Good King Newsom’s wacky CA dictatorship I also have to think about giving up the great weather and the beach.

    4. yeah i wonder how many of the invaders coming to AZ move here in the mild winters with no idea whats coming in the summer.

      its late october and still around 100 here.

  16. “…an acceleration of decades of sorting that has seen us separate into tribes based on living habits and culture. Given that lifestyle correlates so closely with political affiliation, the victory for choice could mean even greater political polarization in the years to come.”

    That and the Blue asshats do everything they can to bring their progressive nonsense with them wherever they go. If enough of them move into your area, primarily to get away from mismanagement, crime, and the high cost of living, you’ll soon find that “there” is now “here.”

    1. Only the survivors; and evolution teaches them pretty quick to shut up.

      1. Alas, that has not been the experience in Florida. The southern (but functionally northern) part of the state runs the rest (and keeps growing north). Old adage (I heard it first in 1980) “The further south you go, the further north you get and when you’re in Miami, you’re in New York.” As for how we feel about it: old bumper sticker “If you [heart] NY, take I-95 North”

        1. We have an old one – welcome to Arizona, now go home.

          1. But first we’re going to steal your fruit or have you eat it while watched over by our gun toting goons.

          2. I have that bumper sticker from the 1980s. Only it says “Calfornia” not “Arizona”

            Lesson learned.

            Don’t believe me? Go ask Portland how that worked out for them.

            1. Don’t Californicate Oregon didn’t work, at least along the coast, did it?

        2. Yes. Grew up in Ocala around Silver Springs and just a quick drive down 441 to The Villages is a stark difference.

    2. ^^^^^^

      Even here in ultra blue CA, people move from the urban centers to more rural digs and immediately want to start changing things so it’s more like where they came from. You know? All those programs they were running away from?

      1. “and immediately want to start changing things so it’s more like where they came from”

        California was fine until the Okies came along with their droughts, leftism and cock fighting.

  17. I don’t see it as polarizing. For instance, we have pretty strong evidence that blue state and city loot and vandalize their neighborhoods, and then when things go completely sideways, they escape to red states and proceed to start the whole process over again.

  18. Although remote working looked good at the start of The Sham™️, the limitations of work via Zoom are now starting to glare in bad ways.

    CEOs are now wanting to pull back significantly on that and get back to the office. Zoom gets mentally exhausting quickly in ways in-person meetings do not, and it turns out that many people aren’t actually working much at all at home.

    If your job is data entry, or something that doesn’t require any semblance of working with others, remote work is fine if you can keep on task. But in anything that requires collaboration, you need to be in the office with others to be productive.

    1. Hmmm, the meeting one at least sounds like the age old problem of 90% of the people in a meeting not actually needing to be there. It’s just becoming more obvious now with people leaving their mics on.

      1. Its not even that 90% don’t need to be there. In the vast majority of meetings I’ve attended, I sat around listening to people give status reports that I didn’t need to hear and once my status report was given to my boss I didn’t need to be there any more either.

        While it was still good to get together as a group to be face-to-face (and the status updates is a good excuse for that) only with the rare *planning* meeting was it something that couldn’t have been summed up in a half-page email.

  19. What will be interesting is seeing if people take their values and ideas with them. The urban dwellers may move to more remote locations, but they have grown and mature in places that are more socially liberal with a greater mix of people. So as they move to rural areas they may be more accepting of people with different racial backgrounds, different sexual orientations, and religions. The politician in the rural district who relied on God, guns, and gays may find that these ideas sell less and that they have to move to a more middle orientation. I would suspect more of a homogenization that division. The division is likely from old timers not happy with the city folk moving in to the area.

    1. So as they move to rural areas they may be more accepting of people with different racial backgrounds, different sexual orientations, and religions.

      Its 2020 dude. Have you been to a rural area this century? They ain’t exactly full of snake-handlers any more.

      Oh, and those people leaving the ‘liberal’ (ie, the areas where people want government to do everything for them) cities are simply moving to slightly smaller cities in the ‘rural’ areas. Austin and places like that aren’t exactly hick towns.

    2. Dream on. BTDT.

      Like I said earlier, ask the old time Portland folks what happened when Californians invaded.

  20. Will It Be a Win for Choice or Polarization?

    I’m not sure why this is an ‘or’.

    People choose to move to places that are more to their liking. That’s also known as ‘polarization’ – as in ‘moving towards magnetic poles’.

    Those who don’t like an overly regulated life where the government is sticking its nose into everything move to places where they don’t. This leaves people who want that behind. Now you have two polarized places – one full of grotty little fascists and one not. Choice has lead to polarization.

    To prevent polarization you would need to eliminate choice and force people with very different life philosophies to live together and try to work out a compromise that both of them will hate.

  21. Where are they moving to? I was recently surprised to learn that Phoenix Arizona is now the 5th largest city in the country. I’ve read that the city is little more than a agglomeration of interconnected parking lots.

  22. I grew up and still live in the SF Bay Area. It’s a great place to live, but probably financially tough for those who migrated here in the last 20 years. Many are leaving, but that’s actually a good thing. They in the last 20 years or so, the highways are so busy it will drive anyone crazy. I even miss the covid lockdown. It was great zipping around the bay area highways at 80 plus mph. All I can say to those who are leaving is BUBYE!!!!! You can move to Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Utah or even Iowa. A friend of mine who lives here came from Iowa. He said as kids they used to love watching the corn grow. Have fun and enjoy your new digs wherever that might be. I’ll be right here.

  23. The problem is that people flee blue states to red, because of the economy, but then vote for the same policies that ruined their former home.

    Same goes with international immigration as well, you have all these socialists from South America and Mexico moving here and voting for socialism.

    1. ^^^^^

      1. People flee Republican/conservative areas for big cities, also. SF, LA and NYC have all been magnets for ambitious folks or those who want to live in ways that won’t be accepted by the kith and kin at home. College towns and state capitals have grown. Columbus OH is now larger than Cleveland. Why? Ohio State, state government and the insurance business were hiring people, while the old industrial firms along Lake Erie were shutting down. People have mentioned Austin. Madison WI has been collecting people who don’t want to back to the farm since the 1960s. New York took a population hit in the 70s, but recovered and had more people than ever by about 2018 (estimated) but has lost some in the last two years. Still, 2% growth since 2010 Census. Let’s see if that hold in “real” Census numbers, whatever they turn out to be. See:

        Population fell in the NY counties outside the city. “Rust belt” cities and their hinterlands are losing ground to areas where manipulating info and/or providing services drive the economy. Farming and mfging used to employ far more people. Kodak doesn’t run Rochester anymore. The suburbs near NYC have flat populations. Retirees leave, young people leave, and city residents who are having kids and have grown out of their twentysomething lifestyle replace those leaving Nassau and Suffolk. The “we can’t make enough money to live here” complaint from young Long Islanders has resulted in a lot of emigration to Florida and the Carolinas.

  24. People do not move because of blue or red. Only an obsessed political hack would think that.

    We are in the midst of a move. It never entered our minds.

    1. “It never entered our minds.” — see JeremyR post.
      This lack of ‘thinking’ is why leftism is cancer.

      1. You Republican Democrats only think in one dimension. It is all about group collective identity for you.

        Look at a sea of people. All I see are individuals. Each making choices every hour of every day.

        All you see are voters to be influenced.

        1. For the mob-rule Democrat it is; all about group collective identity
          … champions of democracy …
          For the Republican it is; all about voting to support Supreme Law – the very foundation of the USA
          … champions of a Constitutional Union of Republican States …

          With such wildly opposing political ideologies getting more apparent by the day; which side one chooses to embrace (the USA or the destruction there-of) IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!

          And only those who think ‘collectively’ as in champions of democracy pretend like it’s a gangster-war of party-affiliation because that’s ALL THEY SEE due to their VERY OWN ideology.

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  28. Will those escaping high tax locations vote for the same policies they left? Most likely, you can’t fix stupid.

  29. Moving to rural areas is fine, but you need to leave you’re big city prejudices behind. A new world requires new thinking.

  30. It’s also, however, an acceleration of decades of sorting that has seen us separate into tribes based on living habits and culture. Given that lifestyle correlates so closely with political affiliation, the victory for choice could mean even greater political polarization in the years to come.

    My theory is that urban living drives politics. It will be interesting to see if that plays out with this migration.

    Being a rather independent person with a penchant for Jack of all tradery, being trapped in suburbia had shown me the limitations of space that are only compounded in urban settings. I can not have in my possession every tool to pursue whatever I want on my own, though I do have access to far more than someone in a city. Urbanization forces specialization while rural lifestyles make self-sustainability an option.

    With specialization, you are dependent on people in your community to provide services and tools you can not make do without, making you vulnerable to price manipulations and being cheated (often without knowing it), so you seek government mediation of these fears and doubts – especially since cosmopolitanism breeds low social trust.

    Self-sustainability makes you more likely to want to be left alone to do your thing and the high social trust in rural communities from generational bonding and family makes seeking help more enjoyable.

    That and there have been previous reports of city mice becoming country mice and subsequently changing their politics, so it would not surprise if that happens eventually. Just with mass migrations, other possibilities take shape – like migrating urban centers. Yesterday’s cow pasture could be tomorrow’s metropolis.

    1. No, they don’t become country mice.
      Our out door shooting range has been here for generations, owned by the same family.
      Now wealthy New Yorkers have bought McMansions near y and want the range closed.
      They knew it was here when they bought.
      Now they want it (and us locals) gone.
      Thanks to the state legislature that passed the backyard range law and newcomers can’t stop our decades long private shooting club.
      Hasn’t stopped them from trying.
      So the newcomers do not accept local ways in my experience

    2. You will do well when the zombie apocalypse happens. I am hosed.

      The Zombie Survival Handbook by Max Brooks (son of Mel) is humor but actually contains great survival tips. “A blade never needs reloading”

      The CDC still has a zombie survival page up with general advice useful in any crisis.

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  34. “…conservatives would rather live in large houses in small towns and rural areas while liberals opt for smaller houses and walkable communities in cities…”

    And libertarians, well, we’re just kind of screwed and have to put up with these wackaknobs no matter where we go.

  35. Americans are moving independently without and unsecure activities as like theft, kidnapping etc and this is one of the big achievement nationwide.

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  37. Free movement is one of the most basic liberties of all. Libertarians are at the front in defending that civil right.

    1. … even free movement for illegal criminals.. Rights aren’t an ‘entitlement’ they are inherent for free persons protected by government restriction.

      Public education is looking like more and more like the very root of corruption than anything else anymore.

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