Jindal Measures Success by Migration (Part 2)

"25 years in a row, more people had left Louisiana than came into Louisiana. The only state in the South to lose our sons and daughters. One of the worst public school systems in the entire country. [...] You heard, we cut our budget 26%. We've got over 30,000 fewer state government bureaucrats than the day I took office. Eight different credit upgrades. Smallest number of state employees; best credit ratings in decades. I don't think that's a coincidence. Top-ten state for private-sector job creation. Seven years in a row of more people moving into Louisiana rather than leaving the state."

On Thursday, June 35, 2015 on C-Span
Sources: C-Span, WMUR

The Context: Speaking at C-Span's "Politics and Eggs" breakfast event, Bobby Jindal describes Louisiana's success through a series of metrics often used to measure economic and social opportunity. He includes that at the start of his tenure as governor, the state "was still reeling from Hurricane Katrina" and that New Orleans "was still trying to get back on its feet." While for several decades the state had suffered a population decline, he recounted that many of the displaced were not sure that they should or could return and rebuild. While his list of metrics, numbers, and rankings offers a variety of ways to measure growth, change, and opportunity, this portion of his speech began and ended with the question of whether American were move to or from Louisiana. It is also worth noting that the full speech begins with detailed anecdotes of his parents' immigration and early years in the US.

Part 2 of 2

In Part 1we looked at the distribution of domestic migration per county in recent years in terms of both the net gains and losses in population and the percent change of local population from year to year attributable to Americans relocating. We also raised a few of the effects and implications of internal migration within the country.

Domestic migration raises a tricky set of concerns for policymaking and leadership on the federal level, all of which require decidedly different approaches than they do at the state level. If where Americans move can indicate local economic success and a wealth of opportunity, then states and their governors effectively compete with one another for the American populace. As we saw in Part 1 of this entry, for every gain in one part of the country, there is a loss elsewhere. How these shifts are handled and managed federally is thus more of a balancing act than a competition. And, as the international immigration discussion has thus far shown, vying for arriving populations nationwide does not carry with it the same rhetorical implication of growth and success. Still, the distances Americans travel in their moves and the redistribution of the American households in search of new opportunity can be telling: whether these households and families relocate within their states' boundaries or move across state lines redefines and reconstitutes our regional economies, our congressional apportionments, and thus our politics at all levels. And so, we asked

How far are Americans moving? What percentage of local populations lived elsewhere one year ago, and did they move from within their state or beyond?