Sunday, July 02, 2006

Following the Sun

The greatest future growth in the United States is likely to take place in the West, the Sunbelt and along the I-85 corridor between Raleigh, N.C., and Atlanta, Ga. In a literal sense, Americans are following the sun, since factors such as the number of "bright" or "sun" days in January and the absence of winter heating costs are significant aspects of this anticipated redistribution of population.

The areas that can expect the largest drop in population, or a slow-down in their rate of growth, are mostly in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. "Americans are rapidly leaving cold, damp, and snowy areas for sunnier and drier climates," note Wharton real estate professors Peter Linneman and Albert Saiz in their study, "Forecasting 2020 U.S. County and MSA Populations." One notable exception is the city of New Orleans, which the authors found to be in a steep population decline, even before factoring in the impact of hurricane Katrina.

Read the rest of the
Wharton School report here.

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