In fact, according to new Census Bureau data released this week, the Southern region of the United States* is the only one to show a net gain in migration over the last five years, growing at the expense of states in the Northeast, Midwest and even the West.
The data comes from the American Community Survey, a sampling of 3 million households conducted by the Census Bureau in the years between the decennial census. The latest figures, which reflect trends over the five-year period between 2007 and 2011, show the South as the leading destination for those who have moved between states during that time.
Overall, people aren't moving as much. The percent of U.S. residents migrating within or outside their states hovered around 20 percent during the post-World Word Two boom years, tapering off slightly in the 1970s and 1990s. But it plummeted over the last decade, fueled by the economic uncertainty of the Great Recession, reaching a low of 11.6 percent in 2011.
But for those who did move, especially in the years leading up to the Great Recession, the South -- along with Western states -- was the most popular destination. Between 2005 and 2007, for example, the South gained a net 1.4 million people moving from the Northeast, Midwest and West.