Are People Leaving NYC for Milwaukee?
Data from Linkedin shows mid-size cities gaining from migration while larger cities lose out.
New data is confirming something that showed up in a study of Linkedin users months ago: people are moving to Milwaukee and Wisconsin.
In September, Linkedin, the employment and career focused social network, released a study that showed Milwaukee was among the top 5 cities in the U.S. for new arrivals moving from other parts of the country.
The biggest finding of the report reflected in both the earlier and most recent data was that the country’s largest metropolitan areas are losing residents while smaller and mid-size cities are gaining them.
Major population centers saw huge decreases. New York saw its new arrivals drop by 27%, Los Angeles by 11%. San Francisco, though not in the top 10 most populous cities in the U.S., lost the second-most new arrivals in 2020, seeing 24% fewer than in 2019.
The study, by the tech company’s Economic Graph Team, looked at percentage increase or decrease of arrivals to the city in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, Milwaukee saw a net 4.5% increase in arrivals.
The Linkedin study is not based upon a general populations survey, but the location data of the company’s users. So, the study is most representative of the migration patterns of people with Linkedin accounts
For cities like Milwaukee that are showing gains, this means more workers are moving here, or fewer are leaving, or perhaps both. If this study holds up against a general population survey, like the U.S. Census, it would mean a shift in population dynamics for metro Milwaukee.
The authors of the McKinsey report wrote that if these changing migration patterns within the country continue they will likely have effects that “reverberate” through local economies. Given that these migration trends are reflective of Linkedin users and urban professionals, these effects would be most noticeable in businesses and services that cater to office workers and in state and local tax revenues.
So, for Milwaukee, this could mean increased demand for bars and restaurants, entertainment, transportation services and office space. Sales tax revenue would be likely to see a boost from this economic activity.
If this trend holds up, what is a boon for cities like Milwaukee and Madison may be a loss for New York and Los Angeles.