March 2016

and a contributor to leading websites. “With great beaches, a good housing stock and a terrific downtown, Pensacola hit every mark. Plus, unlike other beachfront communities, homes in Pensacola generally have good elevation. Because we’re 70 feet above sea level we don’t need flood insurance.” Miller and other Americans are moving to smaller towns in the Sunbelt drawn by lifestyle issues, including lower cost of living, less congestion, more affordable housing and fewer taxes. Hundreds of thousands of homeowners are heading South and Southwest in search of jobs, warmer weather and affordable housing. “We have seasons in Pensacola but the seasons are mild,” said Miller. “There are no worries about snow or slippery roads. Everything we need is here, there’s no traffic and the stress level is pretty much zero. We can watch the Blue Angels practice from the beach and there are lots of places for bike riding.” Not only are housing refugees like Miller and hundreds of thousands of others voting with their feet and moving to the Sunbelt, but

businesses are also embracing the Sunbelt’s business-friendly policies of light regulation, low taxes and lack of unions that are luring businesses to the area. Business executives clearly show they favor states that foster growth through business development programs like low taxes and a quality living environment. Annually, Sunbelt states — Texas, Florida, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona — dominate the ranks of the most business friendly states in America, according to Chief Executive Magazine . “There’s been a big trend over the last 40 years of people moving from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt,” said Michael Stoll, an economist and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “The aging Boomer population is driving relocation from the Northeast and Midwest to the West and South, as more and more people retire to warmer regions. De- industrialization and the emergence of auto manufacturing in the Southern states has helped fueled this migration pattern. States Continued Next Page

Michael A. Stoll Professor UCLA Los Angeles, California

“ The aging Boomer population is driving relocation from the Northeast and Midwest to the West and South... The trend is towards suburbanization. ”

SOURCE: Census Bureau


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