White Flight to Sun Belt: Biggest Inter-American Migration in 60 years

A new database with a series of maps delineating the data shows that the most massive inter-American migration since the 1950’s has been the white migration from the Midwest toward the Sun Belt. What was popularly known as the Rust Belt, (containing Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and the bulk of Michigan, as well as northern Illinois and eastern Wisconsin) lost millions of people to California, Nevada, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri.

As manufacturing moved to the Southeast, and the US steel and coal industries declined, cities like Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland started losing people en masse. In the 1970’s, 26.6 % of its white population left Wayne County (Detroit) 15.%% left Cook County (Chicago) and 20.1% left Cuyahoga County (Cleveland.)

In the 1980's, Nevada was the fastest-growing US state.


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