Migration Maps: The Real Social Networks

Where did you come from? Most people in the U.S. come from somewhere else. This is among the most mobile countries in the world, with people picking up and moving for no other reason, it sometimes seems, than that they haven’t picked up and moved in a while.

The answer to the “where” question tells us things. First, it tells us about the vitality of a region. Is everyone coming there? Are more people leaving than arriving? Second, it tells us about what kind of draw it is. Does it pull from across the country? In the same general region? Or from adjacent counties? Drawing more people from more places creates the kind of melting pot that drives foment and creativity, but it also creates population pressures and stresses.

With the preceding in mind, here are a following captures from a new Forbes graphic showing county-by-county U.S. migration in 2008. First, here is the figure for in/out of San Diego County:


And here is New York, followed by San Francisco:



And here is Detroit – note that outbound migration is red, which accounts for almost all the Detroit-related movement of people.


Finally, here is Big Horn Country in Wyoming, a county that is typical of many such in the middle of the country: