CPACS study finds Nebraska draws Floridians, Georgians


By Mattie Traphagan, Contributor

According to a study recently released by UNO’s College of Public Administration and Community Service, Nebraska has been gaining residents from all over the country.

For the first time in more than 20 years, Nebraska lured residents from Florida, Georgia and Arizona to make a change and decide to call Nebraska home.  The study found inmigration to Nebraska improved even when the country has been affected by a terrible housing market and a distressed economic situation.

“When you look at the states where we’ve seen the biggest change, it’s those that were hard-hit with housing (price declines) and the economy,” said David Drozd, a demographer with the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Center for Public Affairs Research in an interview with the Omaha World-Herald.

Nebraska ranked high  in comparison to other states’ migration statistics, gaining more than 300  Floridians this year alone–second best among all states. In 2008 and 2009, Nebraska gained residents from a total of 22 other states, which was significantly higher than the 13 states from the previous 10 years before that.

Most people who moved to Nebraska relocated from California. In the past year alone over 1,000 people from the Sunshine State have packed up and traveled here to plant new roots.  This is not unusual.  For 17 of the past 21 years, California was the leading state of migrants to Nebraska.

This year, not only did the South and West regions of the United States move to Nebraska, but Midwest residents relocated as well.

Nebraska saw gains from Michigan, Illinois and Iowa, all leaders in net immigration to Nebraska. The net immigration from Iowa is significant since Nebraska has had positive net migration from Iowa for just six of the past 21 years. In the past, Nebraska has lost nearly 800 people to Iowa, but this year 300 Iowa residents relocated to Nebraska.

Texas is now the top outmigration state for Nebraska. In the past three years Nebraska has lost approximately 1,000 people per year to the longhorn state.  Nebraska has also lost people to South Dakota over the past decade.  None of these states have state income tax, and Nebraska is still seeing increasing tax revenues despite the loss of residents.

This year, 400 more people left the state of Nebraska than those who moved here. However, this was still a milestone in the past 20 years of net migration for Nebraska. It was the smallest outmigration that Nebraska as seen in the past 13 years.

While it seems that Nebraska may still have a few areas of improvement, great strides have been made in the area of migration. People from all over the country are moving to the “good life” state in hopes of finding relief from the burden of the economy, housing market and other stressors from the financial world.