Americans are on the move thanks to high unemployment and tough economic conditions in the middle of the country. According to a new Atlas Lines Migration Patterns study, Americans are heading east and leaving the “are between the Midwest and the Northeast” where unemployment has hit hardest in recent months[1]. Ohio’s population in particular in on the decline, with the state posting the highest percentage of residents leaving in 2011. Washington D.C. posted the highest percentage of inbound moves for the fifth year in a row, while retirement hot-spots like Florida and Georgia remained relatively balanced despite rough times in the housing and jobs markets thanks to an influx of new, older residents balancing out the exodus of younger ones.

The study classified states as inbound states, which had more moves in than out, outbound states, which had more moves out than in, and balanced states, which had basically equivalent inbound and outbound moves[2]. Texas, New Mexico, Tennessee, Alaska, North Carolina, Virginia, North Dakota and Maryland joined Washington D.C. as the only inbound states for 2011. The Midwest was largely outbound, although Michigan remained, somewhat surprisingly, “balanced” in 2011 along with Iowa and South Dakota.

Many real estate investors report targeting the Midwest when buying investment properties in 2011. Do you think the fact that the region is currently “outbound” should play a role in this decision?

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[2] ht