Archive for Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kansas and Douglas County see more households leaving than coming in 2010

A contractor walks out of a home under construction in the 3900 block of Bellflower, just west of Monterey Way. Housing starts were up slightly in Lawrence last year, but the overall construction industry remained weak.

A contractor walks out of a home under construction in the 3900 block of Bellflower, just west of Monterey Way. Housing starts were up slightly in Lawrence last year, but the overall construction industry remained weak.

January 5, 2011


Kansas is one of nine states noted in United Van Lines’ 2010 migration study for the high rate of people leaving the state. The others are Missouri, North Dakota, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New Hampshire.

Kansas is one of nine states noted in United Van Lines’ 2010 migration study for the high rate of people leaving the state. The others are Missouri, North Dakota, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New Hampshire.

Whether it was the economy or a return of rural flight, more folks were moving out of Kansas than moving in last year.

Where they're coming from

Forty-eight households moved into Douglas County in 2010. Here's a look at where they came from:

1 from Arizona

7 from California

2 from Colorado

2 from Florida

1 from Iowa

1 from Indiana

2 from Kansas

1 from Maryland

2 from Maine

1 from Michigan

2 from Minnesota

3 from Missouri

1 from Montana

2 from North Carolina

2 from New Mexico

1 from New York

3 from Ohio

2 from Pennsylvania

1 from South Dakota

3 from Texas

4 from Virginia

3 from Washington

Where they're going

Seventy-three households moved from Douglas County this past year. Here's a look at where they went:

1 to Alabama

1 to Arkansas

1 to Arizona

7 to California

1 to Colorado

2 to Connecticut

2 to DC

1 to Georgia

2 to Iowa

3 to Illinois

1 to Indiana

1 to Kentucky

8 to Massachusetts

2 to Maryland

1 to Minnesota

1 to Missouri

3 to Mississippi

1 to New Jersey

4 to Nevada

3 to New York

4 to Ohio

1 to Oklahoma

1 to Ontario

1 to Oregon

1 to Pennsylvania

2 to South Carolina

1 to South Dakota

9 to Texas

4 to Virginia

3 to Washington

The state was one of nine noted in United Van Lines’ 2010 migration study for the high rate of people leaving the state.

After several years of people coming and going from Kansas at a fairly balanced rate, a shift occurred in 2010. Of the 3,370 families United Van Lines moved, 44.1 percent were coming to Kansas and 55.9 percent were leaving.

Kansas hasn’t seen such a gap since 2002, according to the company’s data.

The balance was even more off kilter in Douglas County, where 48 households moved into the county and 73 left. Throughout the years, data from the country’s largest moving company have been shown to accurately reflect the migration patterns of regions.

Joe Monaco, public information officer for the Kansas Department of Commerce, wouldn’t comment specifically on the data, but said he wasn’t surprised that the numbers showed more people leaving the state than coming in.

“We are talking about major long-term trends in the Midwest; it’s certainly nothing new,” he said.

Other Midwest states with high outbound migration in 2010 included Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Illinois and Ohio.

Monaco said the Department of Commerce has spearheaded a number of campaigns to keep recent college graduates in Kansas and to bring alumni back to the state.

Data from the Department of Labor show that, as of November, jobs have grown by .5 percent over the past year. In all, 6,900 new jobs have been added.

But still, Tom Kern, CEO and president of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, said the out migration numbers could be the result of a down economy and its impact on the aviation industry and light manufacturing.

In Douglas County, he pointed to jobs lost at Amarr Garage Door and Sauer-Danfoss.

“It isn’t surprising given the context of how the recession has effected the industry,” Kern said.

With the promise of a new plastic manufacturer coming to town and an expansion of another plastic manufacturing company, Kern hopes those out migration numbers will turn around.

And Monaco said that while population data show people leaving western Kansas at high rates, Johnson County has had one of the most successful business recruitment efforts in the country in the past few years. He also said there is hope for more job growth with a rebound in the aviation industry and growth in wind energy.

“We are optimistic, but, sure, folks are always going to come and go,” Monaco said.

Nationally, New Jersey edged out Michigan for the percentage of residents leaving the state, at 62 percent .

So where was everyone moving to?

According to the study, Washington, D.C., had the highest percentage of people moving into its borders, followed by Oregon, North Carolina, Idaho and South Carolina.


David Holroyd 7 years, 3 months ago

ya think? when the city and the county stop giving away money they don't really have and when the school district begins to live within a reasonable budget and then the property taxes start declining, only then will Douglas County become more realistic to live in.

The financial decline is just beginning but no one wants to recognize such as the majority of employed folks in Douglas County work for governmental agencies and have not felt the pinch. A good bite on the &&uTTT might just wake up those in charge of spending.

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 3 months ago

oneeye_wilbur, Texas has a much higher property taxes than Kansas and yet we're losing population to them... why? Taxes don't matter as much as job opportunities and society openness.

Gaskinn 7 years, 3 months ago

Not discounting your position entirely but you should recognize that while Texas has substantially higher property tax they do not have state income tax.

overthemoon 7 years, 3 months ago

Or maybe its the declining quality of schools? Maybe because the state has now become redder than red and the new governor promises to further ax education spending? If you don't keep the important stuff funded, people will leave. Complain all you want about taxes, but the burdens we share are those that make any community or state worth living in. It is some times called civilized society.

overthemoon 7 years, 3 months ago

look at the numbers in the side bar....

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 3 months ago

A community that discourages jobs, businesses and growth but encourages taxation... and you wonder why people are leaving? At least there will be plenty of room in the new library.

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 3 months ago

Ah yes, always with the "love it or leave it" reply from Lawrencians convinced that people will pay any amount of tax to live in a "cool" community.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

It's a good question actually.

If you don't like it here, why do you stay?

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 3 months ago

Interesting though, I don't see people ask this of faux progressives when they post. Merrill whines endlessly about virtually everything in Lawrence and I haven't seen you ask him this question. Instead, the question seems to be constantly directed by the faux progressives toward people who aren't hipster enough to join their club.

Who said I don't like Lawrence? There are plenty of things to like, but I have seen a steady erosion of the city over the last several decades on various fronts. The most obvious of which is the decrease in viable economic opportunities (often intentionally) and the increase in taxation to fund faux progressive pet policies.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

I don't talk to Merrill much at all.

But I would ask the question of anybody - if you don't like where you live, why would you stay there?

And, I think there's a difference between wanting to improve one's community, and just complaining about it and criticizing it.

I agree there are plenty of things to like about Lawrence, and also ways in which it could be improved.

jonas_opines 7 years, 3 months ago

That first bit is only interesting in a query of how big your blindspot has to be to have missed many progressives getting asked that very thing.

But I think some of us are familiar enough already to know that it is truly big.

Liberty275 7 years, 3 months ago

We are waiting for the next real estate bubble. We could sell now and make money, but we have decided to wait it out here in flyover cornfield country until we can double our money.

If we weren't so greedy, we would have been out of this podunk backwater town, county and state a year ago.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

You may be sorry.

Why not leave now? Then you'll be happier sooner, and the real estate market may be slow for quite some time.

Greed is generally a bad idea.

The_Bends 7 years, 3 months ago

Note that this study tracks only United Van Lines' shipment patterns--not actual migration.

United's own data shows that it did 226k moves in 2006 and only 146k in 2010. With that in mind, this data says even less than the (very) little it usually says. It is basically just an advertisement.

You can't come to any meaningful conclusions based on this data.

8ball 7 years, 3 months ago

people were broke and couldn't afford to hire UVL in 2010

average 7 years, 3 months ago

Not too meaningful, in some ways. North Dakota was on the 'most leaving' list, despite having the lowest unemployment rate in the nation for several years running.

booyalab 7 years, 3 months ago

Some things are worse than unemployment.....

Actually, I kid. North Dakota has a few things going for it. Umm, it's too cold for crime, for instance.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 3 months ago

I think this 12 month data is much more interesting than the 10 year data from the US Census, which shows Douglas County is the 2nd fastest growing county in the state.

If you want to complain about a United Van Lines study, then how do you respond to the census data?

Douglas County is a place people want to live, sorry that is so upsetting to some folks.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm leaving to move to TN at the end of this year. I can't wait to see Kansas behind me and I'm sure Kansas can't wait to see my back so we'll both be happy.

Viper1962 7 years, 3 months ago

I lived in Kansas for over 40 years and left in December to move to Florida.

I have to say I don't miss it one bit. The sales tax here is about 6.5 percent (It's about 10 percent out at Legends now) and there is no personal property tax on cars. The property tax on housing seems higher in Florida.

Oh...and they don't have a State income tax here - that alone gave me a $4,700 a year increase in my net income.

For me Florida = Lower taxes, more disposable income, better weather, incredible entertainment options, and a great job.

Kansas = Skyrocketing taxes, horrible weather, less entertainment, whining educators, and a good job.

I'm pretty happy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 3 months ago

I wouldn't celebrate too soon. Florida's budget shortfall is estimated at $3.8 billion, with a new governor set to take office who will have absolutely no compunction about paying it off on the backs of the middle and working classes. That may or may not be bad for you personally, but for the vast majority of Floridians, "austerity" measures will make life much worse just so life continues to be wonderful for millionaires like the new governor.

Viper1962 7 years, 3 months ago

You're correct. Every state has its problems.

I prefer to suffer in Florida...because even if they implement a state tax I'm already used to it.

Jimo 7 years, 3 months ago

"The property tax on housing seems higher in Florida."

Yeah, my guess is by about $4,700 per year. Unless Florida has it's own mathematics!

If growth continues to subsidize state revenues, energy remains cheap so you can run your a.c. 24/7, and the gov't continues to allow carcinogenic poisons to kill off the bugs, you should be set - as long as you aren't a child, gay, black, poor, allergic to mortgage fraud, want a luxury like property insurance, expect h.s. graduates to read above a 3rd grade level, or live within 100 miles of the coast.


Well, let's just hope the new felon Governor who promises to run the state "like a business" can find a way to make Grandma Buchovitz into a profit-center! (Or maybe he'll wipe out the state's budget deficit by defrauding the Feds - just like he did in private life! - for ESL grants after acknowledging that Spanish is the state language!)

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 3 months ago

According to this data, you did not leave for Florida. However, the second highest total is people who left for those high-taxing loonies in Massachusetts.

And 2 people fled Florida for the high taxing loonies in Lawrence. But again, according to this data you did not leave for Florida.

overthemoon 7 years, 3 months ago

with the best schools in the nation...and an intelligent populace, proximity to a number of urban centers, appreciation for the arts, etc.etc.

BillybobThorten 7 years, 3 months ago

I think people in Kansas really dont understand how much they are taxed until they move to places like Fla or Tx. Paying $900 per yr just to tag a new car here vs. paying a $25 fee for the same car in Fla is just insane. Also, tax on food is just a killer. Lets say you have a family of 4 and spend $1000/month for Kansas, kick in another $800/yr on sales tax that you really dont have to pay in MOST other states. Again....ouch

overthemoon 7 years, 3 months ago

state sales taxes are deductible on fed income tax, tho.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 3 months ago

And yet other state governments spend as much or more per capita as Kansas governments.

Weird. They must all be getting their money from magic beans since they aren't getting it from taxes.

Heather Perry 7 years, 3 months ago

and they wonder why the suicide rate has gone up

Heather Perry 7 years, 3 months ago

but i love kansas lived here most of my life but we have talked about and agreed we need to move out of lawrence maybe jefferson co lawrence is expensive and city seems to like wasting money fixin roads that dont need fixed when theres roads that have needed repair for years and continue to need repair GPS in trash trucks no jobs crackheads everywhere used to be there were bad neighborhoods where those ppl stayed junkies shootin up in the parks and leavin their needles lay right by the slide my child plays on yeah nice what my lovely hometown has become

LogicMan 7 years, 3 months ago

Don't forget English teachers beating their heads against the nearest hard objects.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 3 months ago

I dunno, it kind of reminds me of Faulkner.

he_who_knows_all 7 years, 3 months ago

You'll fit right in if you move to Jefferson County with grammar like that.

You also won't save any money by moving because you'll be spending more on gas to get anywhere.

Heather Perry 7 years, 3 months ago

really ur gonna put down my grammer in a comment section ha better i waste my own money than lawrence wasting my tax money

karmaxs3 7 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence is a vortex. I finally got out after 20 years, and then promptly got sucked back in. Not happy about it. The only reason I'm here is b/c of the economy. Stinks here, but it's worse other places. I'd leave again in a heart beat.....winter sux. Among other things.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

It is delusional to think that Lawrence is the best place to live in the country.

Different places offer different blends of positive and negative attributes, and other places might in fact be better in a variety of ways for certain people.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

My point was that somewhere else might in fact be much better for a number of people.

Because criteria are subjective, as yours are, and differ from person to person.

"It is delusional to think that somewhere is going to be so much better" is a strong statement, one which I think is not well founded.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

You're entitled to your opinion.

But I wouldn't make such sweeping generalizations - if people want to define their priorities and locate somewhere that matches them, more power to them.

wmathews 7 years, 3 months ago

I updated the map caption. Thanks for letting me know!

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 3 months ago

If things are so "bad" here, then why is Lawrence growing faster than the rest of the state?

Never let the facts get in the way of your ideological rant.

pace 7 years, 3 months ago

I wish i could read their plan for immigration reform. We need working visa's. Why open our borders and fight desperate people when we could have working visas, working borders and a modern responsive system. It is an enemy created by indolent legislatures.

Denny2009 7 years, 3 months ago

We all I'm sure have seen that things haven't been going well with the ecnomy throughout the last few years. Our Country needs jobs, I'm sure everyone knows at least a couple people who are unemployed, actively seeking some sort of work. I know my friends, family, and I know people struggling to find work.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 3 months ago

Where are they going to get away from the high taxes and unfriendly business climate of Lawrence?

8 to Massachusetts 7 to California

But don't let that get in the way of your ranting.

ksriver2010 7 years, 3 months ago

I love Lawrence. I moved here six months ago because of work. Now I am moving back because of work. I love Lawrence, but it is somewhat expensive to live here. But the views are great! Especially from the top of the hill at Wakarusa and Clinton Parkway looking south, and going south on Iowa past K10. I have noticed that it has been difficult to get a tech job in KC because they think Lawrence is too far away, and I have been told this a couple of times, which I think is ridiculous.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

That's surprising - I think many people live here and work in KC. In fact I know one guy who's a computer programmer who does just that.

Unless your job regularly requires coming in suddenly and unexpectedly, I wouldn't think it would be an issue.

verity 7 years, 3 months ago

Am I missing something, or is this article based completely on United Van Lines statistics of who they moved?

If so, it is obviously and absolutely not scientific.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago


NAFTA has been a disaster for American workers.

TheYetiSpeaks 7 years, 3 months ago

Ding. Ding. Ding! Show him what he's won, Rod!

jhawkinsf 7 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence provides a great balance. The state as a whole is right of center while the city is off to the left. For those of us in the middle, Lawrence provides a good balance. I just returned to Lawrence from California. English is a foreign language there, the schools are terrible while Orange County alone has more people than the whole state of Kansas. It's not sustainable. I'm glad to be home. By the way, when I moved here, I used a different company to move me so I have no idea what that means for this "study".

Richard Heckler 7 years, 3 months ago

Using housing starts to represent the economy is absolutely absurd. Why?

There are millions of homes on the market as a result of the Bush/Cheney home loan fraud on consumers,

There are 10,000 homes on the market in Kansas City which indicates a buyers market. People comment how the KCMO and Topeka markets are a better bang for the buck. Lawrence still has inflation problems

Why the push to build and put more properties on the market tells me there are people still living in the reckless spending "boom town economy" of the last 15 years paying out seriously inflated prices for homes.

Alceste 7 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence would be a lot more enjoyable were it not for all your self-important four flushing. You live in Kansas, do ridiculous things all day, come home, and then gripe at each other about who is to blame for your lot in life. Have the courage to see yourselves as you are and your "city" as it is. Try to make it better if you can, and embrace the people who share your desire to make the "city" a better place to live. Discuss things, but don't act like they are the most important darn things in the whole world. They're not. This silly little suburb is a small speck of nothing in the middle of nowhere. Don't let it be your universe.

Doug Fisher 7 years, 3 months ago

With a nutjob like Brownback for governor, I would expect this population decline to continue. Kansas doesn't have much going for it these days due to it's extreme right politics.

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