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New data shows migration patterns in young Alabama residents

By MOLLEE BRELAND, Alabama Daily News

AUBURN, Ala. – Seventy-two percent of people raised in Birmingham continued to live there as young adults while 71% and 66% of their peers from Montgomery and Huntsville, respectively, continue to call their hometowns home.

New information from researchers in the U.S. Census Bureau and Harvard University gives insight into how many people up to age 26  are staying in some Alabama cities and where those who leave go.

The interactive map allows users to see the top destinations for those leaving a particular area, including the percentage who stay in Alabama and who go out of state.Atlanta and Nashville are popular destinations for young Alabamians.

Nationally, nearly six in 10 young adults live within 10 miles of where they grew up, and eight in 10 live within 100 miles, according to the Census Bureau.

“Even the prospect of higher earnings in more distant locations does little to change these patterns,” the bureau said in a written statement.

The dataset uses migration patterns and flows between 741 commuting zones throughout the U.S.

The data is further broken down into four race/ethnicity categories and five quintiles of parental income. For example, white young adults with high-earning parents are more likely to leave their hometowns and go farther than several other groups.

The national average of how far young adults go after getting a job is 181 miles. For those leaving several Alabama cities, it was less.

The map also allows users to see where young people are arriving from when they move to an area. About 76% of Mobile’s young people stick around and more arrive from nearby counties, including those in Mississippi and Florida.

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