NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Two-Thirds of Americans Stay Put in Their Native State

September 4, 2001

Data from the Census Bureau shoot down the theory that the U.S. is a land of nomads. Some 67 percent of native-born Americans say they are living in the state of their birth.

  • New Yorkers are the most stay-at-home -- with 82.4 percent of residents being native-born.
  • They are followed by natives of Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Michigan and Ohio.
  • Those born in Nevada are the most likely to pull up stakes and move elsewhere -- with only 28.2 percent of the state's residents being natives.
  • And natives make up only 39.1 percent of Arizona's population.

The economic boom of the 1990s provided little incentive for people to cross state lines in search of work, demographers report.

However, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Arkansas and Kentucky recorded sizable jumps in the number of out-of-staters entering. High-technology development accounted for much of the change in North Carolina. Similarly, a biotechnology push at the University of Wisconsin attracted a number of workers to Madison.

Source: Marin Kasindorf and Paul Overberg, "Most Live in their State of Birth," USA Today, September 4, 2001.

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