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Old 06-16-2019, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Central Indiana/Indy metro area
1,620 posts, read 2,575,107 times
Reputation: 1641

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As I get older, I contemplate moving more and more. Since relocation has been on my mind, I'm always searching various locations, taking note of places my wife and I vacation to, and taking note of any news articles that I come across about current population trends.

Yesterday I was reading an article about Columbus, Ohio on Forbes website. This article is interesting because it states that a lot of Columbus, OH growth is similar to how Indy has grown. A lot of already OH residents are just moving to the metro area. I work closely with college kids and I've seen a lot more smaller Indiana city/town kids come to school in Indy and they end up staying here. There isn't much back home for them job wise and many want a larger population center because of what it offers outside of employment.

Of course this article lead me to other articles and come to find out, the Midwest isn't doing all that great. It sounds like a lot of the growth Indy, Columbus, and other Midwestern cities is mostly just in-state migration. The areas that are drawing people away from other states are located in the southern or western areas of the country. Here is a good NPR article on the subject.

My prediction is that a lot of the Midwestern states will only have one or two major metro areas that will do OK, but the remaining areas of the states will continue to decline. The only cities and towns that might tread water will likely be those along interstate routes that connect major metro areas, but I still think the overall trend will be down in population, income, etc.. One example is that of Decatur County. The county and Greensburg thought they'd hit a gold mine when Honda built their factory just off I-74. Come to find out, not very many people moved to the area, many just drive from Cincinnati or Indy. What the leaders in that area didn't grasp is that most people taking those jobs would likely be married, kids have strong school connections, etc.. It is great that someone can get a $50K+/year job, but that is horrible for a household income if the spouse is stuck with a $25K/year job. So most of these married employees are likely going to have to stay close to Indy or Cincinnati so their second half can have good employment opportunities.

The next issue is when does the in-migration level off and what happens to Midwestern cities after that? It will definitely be interesting to see how things shake out in the coming decade. My only concern is home values. I'm hopeful my house value at a minimum maintains the current value for the next decade.
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
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Slow, steady growth is a good thing. In Denver (where I'm from), the infrastructure and housing didn't keep up with the population increases. Downtown traffic was like midtown Manhattan. The cost of housing was over 2.5 times what it was here when I moved. Wages were only slightly higher for the same work. The city is blighted with hideous, trendy architecture.

The NPR article only mentioned medium to large cities. Smaller cities and towns out West offering no particular advantage are probably going the same way as those in the Midwest for the reasons you mentioned.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Central Indiana/Indy metro area
1,620 posts, read 2,575,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheerbliss View Post
The NPR article only mentioned medium to large cities. Smaller cities and towns out West offering no particular advantage are probably going the same way as those in the Midwest for the reasons you mentioned.

I know that some of the places out west have grown. Places like Kalispell and Whitfish in Montana along with Sandpoint, ID. Similar places further south are St. George, UT, Sedona, AZ, and Mesquite, NV have had huge population gains since the 70s. The ones in the southern part of the country grew a lot. I've always read it was retirees who wanted a more mild climate for the growth of these southern cities.



It will be interesting to see if these places can maintain their growth.
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Old 06-16-2019, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
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I'd hazard a guess that they're exceptions. Looking up cities under 10,000 people in Colorado, hardly any of them have seen any growth, especially those that aren't close to medium or large cities ("close" by the standards of the vast, sparsely populated western US).

Retirees are probably also attracted to the lower cost of living of those cities.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
29,356 posts, read 22,186,797 times
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This trend is happening all over the country. Most states are going to have one, maybe two, solid metros with everywhere else having scraps.

I lived in Carmel for nearly three years. It was a terrific place, and a fantastic value for what you get. With that said, Indiana isn't the most exciting place in the world. Being into the outdoors, the opportunities around Indianapolis were very limited.

There's going to be some difficulty in attracting people there. It has a good job market and a low cost of living, but a lot of people would rather be in a state with more natural beauty.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
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The lack of scenery hasn't stopped people from moving to eastern Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Las Vegas or Atlanta. Nor has natural beauty kept people in upstate New York, West Virginia or coastal California. It's a factor for some people, of course, but a good living and the prospect of a good future is more important for most.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:13 PM
 
1,716 posts, read 933,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheerbliss View Post
Slow, steady growth is a good thing. In Denver (where I'm from), the infrastructure and housing didn't keep up with the population increases. Downtown traffic was like midtown Manhattan. The cost of housing was over 2.5 times what it was here when I moved. Wages were only slightly higher for the same work. The city is blighted with hideous, trendy architecture.

The NPR article only mentioned medium to large cities. Smaller cities and towns out West offering no particular advantage are probably going the same way as those in the Midwest for the reasons you mentioned.
Denver's infrastructure is actually pretty good. They've done a really good job repositioning the old Stapleton Airport into a mini-city. They've built quite a broad light rail system. The biggest issue with Denver is adequate housing which is private not public controlled. There's plenty of land but its obvious the homebuilders, like in many markets, aren't building as many spec units because of how they got burned in 2008-10.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:16 PM
 
1,716 posts, read 933,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheerbliss View Post
The lack of scenery hasn't stopped people from moving to eastern Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Las Vegas or Atlanta. Nor has natural beauty kept people in upstate New York, West Virginia or coastal California. It's a factor for some people, of course, but a good living and the prospect of a good future is more important for most.
How do you define scenery? yea eastern Colorado is vanilla as you can find. but those other regions you mention have some scenery, either hills, mountains or water.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
2,087 posts, read 1,048,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walker1962 View Post
Denver's infrastructure is actually pretty good. They've done a really good job repositioning the old Stapleton Airport into a mini-city. They've built quite a broad light rail system. The biggest issue with Denver is adequate housing which is private not public controlled. There's plenty of land but its obvious the homebuilders, like in many markets, aren't building as many spec units because of how they got burned in 2008-10.
When I left in 2015, it took me almost an hour to get to work 7 miles away on the bus. Even though I lived within a mile of Englewood Station, using the light rail would have taken just as long, if not longer. If you've taken public transportation during rush hour, you've seen that it's packed. I had coworkers who didn't bother heading home between 4 PM and 6 PM. Unless they've added more lanes or buses in Denver, I can only imagine it's gotten worse. My 20-mile commute here--which would be untenable in Denver--takes me 45 minutes through rush-hour traffic.

Last edited by sheerbliss; 06-17-2019 at 09:45 PM..
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
2,087 posts, read 1,048,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walker1962 View Post
How do you define scenery? yea eastern Colorado is vanilla as you can find. but those other regions you mention have some scenery, either hills, mountains or water.
You can find some nice scenery in any state, and of course, "nice" is subjective. For example, Ohio has hills and water, and some nice scenery in places, but it's generally not considered especially scenic.

Personally, I don't care for anything dry and brown. Others don't like flat terrain. There's quite a bit of all three out west.
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