Economic Focus/Population Flows: Early Retirement a Factor
Wall Street Journal (04/24/02) Vol. 36, No. 16 p.B11; Geisel, Jerry

The Rocky Mountain and South Atlantic regions--with the number of new residents up 0.68 percent and 0.60 percent, respectively--continued to attract more people from other states on a per-capita basis last year, reports the Internal Revenue Service and The population growth in these areas was attributed in part to the wealth of employment opportunities but more so to the early retirement of 50-somethings. These younger retirees redeemed stock-market gains in 2000 and relocated from the Midwest and Northwest to the western and southern United States. Thanks to more vibrant economies, meanwhile, some parts of New England--particularly New Hampshire--also brought in more residents than they lost last year. More people also moved to states like Florida and Nevada than left--although the growth failed to keep pace with migration levels registered a decade ago; numbers in those states are likely to continue a downward pattern in 2002 due to layoffs that have deterred job-hunters. Also seeing a greater exodus of residents last year were states in the Great Lakes region, where manufacturing layoffs sent many people packing up and looking for new jobs elsewhere. Overall, statistics from the IRS and show that the states with the biggest inflows of population in 2001, in order, were Nevada, Arizona, Florida, New Hampshire, and Colorado. The states with the greatest outflows of population were North Dakota, New York, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Illinois.

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