Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study uncovers 'de-urbanization' of America

25.09.2009
A researcher at the University of Kansas has made a vital study of how a population in perpetual motion impacts local tax bases and economies around the nation

More than any other populace on Earth, Americans are on the move. Because of factors such as employment, climate or retirement, 14 percent of the U.S. population bounces from place to place every year.

Now, one researcher at the University of Kansas has made a vital study of how a population in perpetual motion impacts local tax bases and economies around the nation.

Art Hall, executive director of the Center for Applied Economics at the KU School of Business, said he uncovered three key themes to American population shifts by looking at annual data collected by the Internal Revenue Service on county-to-county migration:

He found that

Populations are relocating to coastal areas (with the major exception that inhabitants for the first time are taking flight from California's prohibitively priced seaboard)

People are moving out from major metropolises to smaller cities
The general migration trend in the U.S. now is eastward rather than westward
"California has been losing people for at least a decade," Hall said. "Two patterns of migration are under way in California. People are leaving the coast and moving to the Northern interior. When they leave, they tend to go places like Arizona and Nevada. So it's not a far move. And they also are going up north to Seattle and Portland. Part of the answer there is that it's just very expensive to live on the California coast."

Hall said that income levels on the California coastline have remained consistent, despite the population loss.

"Even though people are moving, income is still flowing to the California coast," said Hall. "Higher-income people are able to afford it and working people are not."

Hall said that his research uncovered a trend of "de-urbanization" across America.

"People are moving away from the major cities to smaller cities — cities of 1 million to 2 million — and away from cities of 4 million-plus," he said. "In a sense, the exurbs are what's happening. What you'll see is that folks are moving out of the city cores into the periphery. They're willing to move away from the big cities into the medium-sized metropolitan areas."

According to Hall, people are motivated to move by a combination of reasons. He said they are influenced in their decisions by factors like climate, jobs and tax rates. Also, he found that younger people are more inclined to move, along with Americans who have reached retirement age.

"Once you get families there's a lot more stability," said Hall. "That stability generates a disinclination to move, but they're willing to commute longer distances. But even then, there's a lot of dynamism around metro areas even if they're not moving across the country. In the big picture, it's the first time in U.S. history that the general migration pattern is eastward rather than westward."

But how does all of this movement of people challenge regional governments that depend on a stable base of taxpayers to fund schools, roads, police and other vital civic services?

"I don't necessarily buy the notion that if you're not growing, you're dying," Hall said. "But there is a question of value and what are you willing to embrace in terms of a balanced quality-of-life."

Hall said that many municipalities face stark policy choices in terms of the kinds of employers that they are willing to accommodate.

"Every community wants to be a healthy, nice place to live with good jobs," the KU researcher said. "But you can't overcome the dynamism of people. Policy as a tool can only go so far. Everyone is chasing the same people to move and the same businesses to create jobs. But having a balanced approach to defining good government services, to defining reasonable tax rates, to not being biased against the types of business that come to your community, that is one of the best perspectives in terms of trying to nurture community growth."

Conversely, Hall said that a new influx of people could put stress on a community's ability to provide services.

"If places are growing too fast, and it's not well thought through, that can put a strain on finances," he said. "However, generally speaking, from a community perspective, in-migration is a good thing."

The full report, "The County-to-County Migration of Taxpayers and their Incomes, 1995-2006" is available online at www.business.ku.edu/_FileLibrary/cae/KSTaxpayerMigration.pdf

Brendan M. Lynch | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ku.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>