Voting with our feet: US Census/IRS stats on taxpayer migration within the US are being discontinued

by 1389 on December 12, 2012

in "The Great Recession", 1389 (blog admin), government regulation, taxes

Obviously, this is to keep people from seeing for themselves the effect of high taxes and tyrannical regulatory burdens in some states in comparison to others.
Taxpayer screwed

Jim Pettit: An embarrassing metric disappears

Why are government statistics on taxpayer migration being discontinued?

As the din of America’s falling headfirst over the fiscal cliff reverberates across the nation, the Obama administration is quietly killing a key economic metric that tells how, and how many, people are voting with their feet. Since 1991 the Internal Revenue Service has been compiling statistics on filers’ addresses, which the agency’s Statistics of Income division uses to show who is moving into and out of every county and state in the nation. As you’d expect, the IRS also knows the aggregate income levels of those who move. So the movements of the most fundamental productive components of the economy — taxpayers — can be analyzed by journalists and economists, or could until now.

The IRS and the U.S. Census Bureau (which provides technical support in reporting tax migration data) have not made an official announcement as to why the program is being discontinued. So we are left to speculate why such vital economic statistics suddenly got canceled.

You can view recent historical data on migration within the US:

American Migration: Interactive Map [click to view]

Note: The map will load in a new window or tab. Unless you have a fast Internet connection, it will take a LONG time to load.

About the map:

By John Bruner

Americans are enormously mobile: 37.5 million people moved from one house to another last year, with 4.3 million of them moving between states. This mobility makes us efficient seekers of economic improvement—moving into, and then leaving, cities like Phoenix as their fortunes rise and fall.

My interactive visualization, based on IRS data, illustrates these patterns by tracing inward and outward moves for every county in the country. Each move had its own motivations, but in aggregate they ­reflect the geographical marketplace during the boom and bust of the last decade: Migrants flock to Las Vegas in 2005 in search of cheap, luxurious housing, then flee in 2009 as the city’s economy collapses; Miami beckons retirees from the North but offers little to its working-age residents, who leave for the West. Even fast-growing boomtowns like Charlotte, N.C., lose residents to their outlying counties as the demand for exurban tract-housing pushes workers ever outward.
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