Feb 23, 2022 - News

Coastal workers migrating to Ohio

A map of America with plot points of cities' growth over the past decade.
Metro areas analyzed by Heartland Forward. Go here for an interactive version. Map: Heartland Forward

When it comes to population trends, the coasts' loss is the Midwest's gain.

What they found: Workers gradually migrated away from the coasts between 2010 and 2019 in favor of settling in the 20 states that make up the "Heartland Region."

  • That includes the Three-C cities — Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Why it matters: The talent shift helps explain the capital city's rapid growth over the past decade and hints toward future expansion here.

Zoom in: States like Ohio attracted two groups studied by Heartland Forward: Adults 25 years and older with at least a bachelor's degree, and a "creative class" of those 16 and older in jobs ranging from education to business management to healthcare.

Between the lines: The study only tracks years leading up to the pandemic, which has largely accelerated this migration further with the emphasis on remote work.

  • Up to one-quarter of full-time workers will continue to work remotely when the pandemic is over, the report estimates.

That's big news for Columbus, which combines a booming job climate with much cheaper housing costs than many coastal metropolitan areas.

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