U.S. Population Moving Westward, Taking Corporations With It

New York, NY, April 27, 2015—Cities in the West and Southwest are experiencing economic growth exceeding records set before the financial crisis, with young, educated workers creating housing shortages and traffic jams as they drive up wages, reports Bloomberg Business.

“The decline in manufacturing in the East, combined with an increase in service and technology jobs, is moving the country’s economic gravity westward,” said Kenan Fikri, a researcher at Washington’s Brookings Institution. “Compared to eastern cities, those in the West don’t have the economic baggage that comes from an industrial legacy.”

In an article titled "When Your Kid Moves Out West, She Takes the U.S. Economy With Her", Bloomberg reports that the center of U.S. population is moving steadily westward; it’s now in Texas County, Missouri, the farthest west since the U.S. Census Bureau began tracking it in 1790. The movement is accelerating as workers from 25 to 34 move that way in disproportionate numbers.

Corporations are also migrating. In the past two decades, the number of Fortune 400 companies based in Texas grew from 15 to 50. During the same period, New York lost 50.

Nine of the ten large metropolitan areas with the highest rates of gross domestic product growth since 2008 are in the West or Southwest, led by Portland, Oregon, at 22.8%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. New York saw GDP growth of only 6.3%.

Related Topics:U.S. Census Bureau