Where We Went, State By State

October 15, 2014

Via: The New York Times

Last August, the New York Times released a set of interactive charts illustrating domestic migration by state since 1900. This series came to mind while we were thinking about talent retention and attraction. This tool, based on data from the US Census, charts state of birth versus state of residence of the US population for more than 100 years. Alternatively, you can view where people living in a state came from.

Understanding the migration patterns of a community can provide a framework for the design of a talent management strategy. Though state-level data does not lead directly to a detailed approach, it can help illustrate a state’s top talent “trading partners” and serve as a preliminary tool for recruitment. The flow of residents can also reveal patterns of economic change.

For example, comparing TIP Strategies’ two home states, Washington and Texas, reveal different dynamics of growth in each state. In recent decades, Texas has dramatically increased its non-native population, while simultaneously retaining 82% of its native population. Those who leave the Lone Star state are often drawn to other parts of the West and South. This is a change from decades earlier when Oklahoma was the primary target of Texas’s out-migration.

By contrast, Washington, like all western states, has attracted migrants for over 100 years. It retains a high percentage of natives–70 percent–but more than 50 percent of its population in 2012 was born elsewhere. Washington’s deep connection to the West Coast can be seen in the view of its diaspora which reveals that the vast majority of those who do leave the state remain in the West, a pattern which has held for more than 100 years.


Where Are The Hardest Places To Live In The U.S.?

July 7, 2014

By: Alan Flippen
Via: The New York Times

Click for interactive version

Click for interactive version


Annie Lowrey writes in the Times Magazine this week about the troubles of Clay County, Ky., which by several measures is the hardest place in America to live.

The Upshot came to this conclusion by looking at six data points for each county in the United States: education (percentage of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree), median household income, unemployment rate, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity. We then averaged each county’s relative rank in these categories to create an overall ranking.

(We tried to include other factors, including income mobility and measures of environmental quality, but we were not able to find data sets covering all counties in the United States.)

The 10 lowest counties in the country, by this ranking, include a cluster of six in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky (Breathitt, Clay, Jackson, Lee, Leslie and Magoffin), along with four others in various parts of the rural South: Humphreys County, Miss.; East Carroll Parish, La.; Jefferson County, Ga.; and Lee County, Ark.

We used disability — the percentage of the population collecting federal disability benefits but not also collecting Social Security retirement benefits — as a proxy for the number of working-age people who don’t have jobs but are not counted as unemployed. Appalachian Kentucky scores especially badly on this count; in four counties in the region, more than 10 percent of the total population is on disability, a phenomenon seen nowhere else except nearby McDowell County, W.Va.

Remove disability from the equation, though, and eastern Kentucky would still fare badly in the overall rankings. The same is true for most of the other six factors.

The exception is education. If you exclude educational attainment, or lack of it, in measuring disadvantage, five counties in Mississippi and one in Louisiana rank lower than anywhere in Kentucky. This suggests that while more people in the lower Mississippi River basin have a college degree than do their counterparts in Appalachian Kentucky, that education hasn’t improved other aspects of their well-being.

As Ms. Lowrey writes, this combination of problems is an overwhelmingly rural phenomenon. Not a single major urban county ranks in the bottom 20 percent or so on this scale, and when you do get to one — Wayne County, Mich., which includes Detroit — there are some significant differences. While Wayne County’s unemployment rate (11.7 percent) is almost as high as Clay County’s, and its life expectancy (75.1 years) and obesity rate (41.3 percent) are also similar, almost three times as many residents (20.8 percent) have at least a bachelor’s degree, and median household income ($41,504) is almost twice as high.

Story Maps Illustrate Metro Area And County Population Change

June 11, 2014

Via: The Census Bureau

The Census Bureau [recently] released two interactive thematic maps on population change.

These ‘Story Maps’ provide insight on emerging trends in population change across the country,” said Jason Devine of the Census Bureau’s Population Division.



The first map allows data users to explore the difference a decade has made in patterns of population change in metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas across the country. This is possible through swiping between two interactive maps – one covering the 2002-2003 period, the other 2012-2013.

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau



The second map permits users to determine the extent of population growth in each county between 2012 and 2013, and to quickly identify the primary source of that population change (such as natural increase or net migration).

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau