New Growth in the Old South

Most Americans are all searching for the same thing: quality of life that costs less and offers more incentives for retirees or new families. It is not surprising that recent population shifts are the outcome of targeted searches with those options in mind. What seems like a tall order has driven a varying demographic of people towards small to middle-sized Southern locations.

The demographics in play are varied. Retiring baby boomers looking to simplify their retirement, first-time homeowners starting a family, recent immigrants from other countries, and millennials rejecting the hardships of big city life as the American economy recovers from the last great recession are the main players in this population influx. The charisma, price of living, quality of life, an increase of productivity compared to big cities like New York or California give the South an advantage. The urban-to-Southern migration has begun according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau finding:

When topics of geography, real estate, and demographics get hot, people start making lists.

Let’s take a look at some examples of that famous Southern Hospitality in light of a growing migration to the “sun-belt” from other parts of America.

Graph from Daily Beast

In the past, a common and perhaps erroneous belief was held that less regulated Red States with lower taxes and lower cost of living didn’t play well with “progressive” or cultural amenities Not so says a Daily Beast article that suggests that when all elements of livability are taken into account including access to culture and the arts, the South is ahead of the game. Austin, TX tops the charts as a city where livability meets cultural relevance and Houston TX features prominently as well.

The population is in flux as the economy continues to recover from the last great recession and housing crash. Americans continue to follow the dream, seeking quality of life for themselves and their families and that good old Southern hospitality sweetens the deal.