Posts Tagged ‘demographics’

Migration Leads Thousands to Georgia, Arizona, Despite Recession

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Arizona, Georgia and Texas lead the nation in new household formations.  Arizona, Georgia and Texas are the growth centers in terms of new residents in the last few years, according to an Associated Press analysis of Internal Revenue Service migration data. The IRS compared the states where taxpayers filed their returns from 2007 to 2008 to arrive at their conclusions.

Texas led the nation, with 62,827 new households; the largest number of families moved there from California and overseas.  Georgia ranked second, with 37,559 new households, many of whom moved there primarily from Florida and New York.  Arizona reported a net gain of 20,300 new households, with the majority relocating there from California and Michigan.

The IRS statistics indicate that Americans are not moving much at present, with the annual migration rate at 11.9 percent – the lowest number in decades.  United States Census Bureau estimates released at the end of 2009 confirm the IRS numbers.  According to the AP analysis, counties with better-educated taxpayers typically see the highest county-to-county migration gains.

“People who move tend to be younger and have lower incomes,” according to William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution.  “Normally, if there is a big influx of young people, that could pull down the income of an area; and if there is a big outflux of young people, that can raise income in an area.”

The Echo Boom Heard Loud and Clear

Friday, March 21st, 2008

A recent report by Crain’s Real Estate Report (2/28/08) features a story about Schneider Logistics, an Evanston, IL-based company moving to downtown Chicago for one reason — the need to recruit young college graduates. According to Vice-president and General Manager Charles Craigmile, “it’s much better from a recruiting standpoint. Evanston is beautiful, but it’s tough to recruit there when everybody lives in Lincoln Park and Lakeview.” For me this signals America’s most important demographic and perhaps real estate trend — the arrival of the Echo Boom generation in the workplace. Defined as people born between 1982 and 2000, they number 74 million people — almost as many as the 76 million Baby Boomers who were a watershed in our culture.

The oldest Echos are now finishing college and they clearly have different expectations. For one, they want to live and work downtown surrounded by entertainment and amenities and to be able to shuck the suburban commute. According to a March 2008 article in the Atlantic, “The Next Slum” by Christopher Leinberger, while only 5 to 10 percent of the housing stock in most MSAs is located in walkable urban places, more than 1/3 of people would prefer to live in mixed-use, walkable, urban area, according to research by Jonathan Levine of the University of Michigan and Lawrence Frank of the University of British Columbia.

Part of this is evolving tastes and part of this is the fact that households with children now only account for a third of American families, as compared to half during the years of the Baby Boom. By 2025, the U.S. will have an equal split between single-person households and families. Which means the migration to downtown areas is sure to continue — both for the Echo Boom and Corporate America hungry for knowledge workers.