Net Migration Patterns Show ‘Unhip’ Cities Gaining Ground

Published on Nov 3, 2009

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Emsi Burning Glass

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In recent months, there have been several media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald, that have reported so-called “hip” cities like New York and Portland, Ore., are gaining population in a key demographic — young educated individuals. But the data tell a different story, according to Joel Kotkin of

Based on an analysis from Praxis Strategy Group, an EMSI client, net migration patterns show “biggest gainers continue to include cities such as San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. Rather than being oases for migrants, some oft-cited magnets such as New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago have all suffered considerable loss of population to other regions over the past year,” Kotkin writes.

The work from Praxis and Kotkin is an excellent example of how hard data often go against prevailing opinions. No matter the analysis, it’s always best to stay objective and data-driven.