Only one in four residents of Nevada were born there, while 78% of people in Louisiana are natives

If you live in Nevada, theres a good chance you will be traveling a long way to see mom and dad for Thanksgiving. Only one in four people who live in the state were born there, the lowest rate of any US state according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. At the other extreme is Louisiana where 78% of people who live there were born there too.

There are two ways of understanding US mobility: stickiness (of all the adults that were born in state x, what percentage still live there now?) and magnetism (of all the adults that live in state x now, what percentage were not born there?).

If, like me, you found this confusing at first, remember that these arent the mirror opposites even though its true that most states score high on one scale and low on another. The number of adults who were born in New York is not the same as the number of adults who live in the state now so stickiness and magnetism are calculated using different base numbers. Get it?

Anyway, Pew Research Center measured this in 2009 and classified states according to how sticky or magnetic they were. Four states defied categorization because they ranked near the middle for both magnetism and stickiness: Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey and Oklahoma.

Overall though, adults in the US have become less mobile. The typical adult now lives just 18 miles away from their mom according to a fantastic analysis by Quoctrung Bui and Claire Cain Miller at the Upshot in 2015.



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