Migration Leads Thousands to Georgia, Arizona, Despite Recession

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.”