Recent research shows that Black people are moving to the South for new opportunities from every other region of the U.S. – especially millennials. This trend has been written about before, but was recently highlighted when Reniqua Allen wrote an op-ed for the New York Times entitled “Racism Is Everywhere, So Why Not Move South?”
In the op-ed, Allen points out trends found among millennial migration in the past 15 years. For example, it was found that 61 percent of millennials moving to New York between 2000 and 2014 were white while only 9 percent were black. On the other hand, 82,000 black millennials migrated south in 2014 by heading to new homes in Texas, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina. The only new stomping grounds for the group outside of American South was California.
“Black people have been moving to the South for years, of course, and it’s not a trend reserved for the young,” wrote Allen. “But to me it’s beginning to seem that black millennial culture — the center of black life — and the idea of black hope and opportunity are now squarely located in the South.”
This migration is likely the result of many things.
Hate crimes have grown exponentially in recent years, but some of the highest concentrations of them can be found in the Northeast. The South also holds a level of nostalgia for many Black people whose families once lived south of the Mason-Dixie. There’s also the promise of financial stability due to a lower cost of living compared to northern cities where renting a one-bedroom apartment can reach totals of nearly $2,000 a month.