Americans are enormously mobile: 37.5 million people moved from one house to another last year, with 4.3 million of them moving between states. This mobility makes us efficient seekers of economic improvement—moving into, and then leaving, cities like Phoenix as their fortunes rise and fall.
This interactive visualization, based on IRS data, illustrates these patterns by tracing inward and outward moves for every county in the country. Each move had its own motivations, but in aggregate they reflect the geographical marketplace during the boom and bust of the last decade: Migrants flock to Las Vegas in 2005 in search of cheap, luxurious housing, then flee in 2009 as the city’s economy collapses; Miami beckons retirees from the North but offers little to its working-age residents, who leave for the West. Even fast-growing boomtowns like Charlotte, N.C., lose residents to their outlying counties as the demand for exurban tract-housing pushes workers ever outward.
Via Martin Daumiller