Monday, March 4, 2013

New Yorkers to Houston: Why again?

In a report that will surprise almost no one it's been revealed that the number of New York City residents migrating to Houston is on the rise.  Increased by 34% which is a pretty staggering increase.  It would seem that Houston's good job & housing markets and low cost of living are big draws.

According to one analyst however, you couldn't be more wrong:

The number of New Yorkers migrating to Texas grows. Erin Mulvaney, ChronBlog

"There are lots of positive things happening in Texas, Houston especially," said (Jonathan) Bowles. [Director of the Center for an Urban Future] "Given that at the same time, we saw declines in New Yorkers moving elsewhere, 34 percent is a pretty staggering. I'm not sure if it's the salsa or what. Something about Texas is particularly attractive."
Harris County had the greatest number of New York transplants. The greatest percent increase over five years was Travis County with a 96 percent increase, followed by Fort Bend with a 56 percent increase. Bowles also said people are attracted to Houston's because it is a major metropolitan area with low cost of living, areas with academia and research and a diverse immigrant communities.

That's right, people from New York City are leaving in droves to come to Houston because we have academia and research, and immigrants. Never mind that New York is way more ethnically diverse than is Houston, especially inside the Loop within the urban core.  Academia and research?  I think NYC is going pretty well in that area.

This is what happens when you let new urbanists get ahold a little bit of data and no internal filter.  You get silly ideas that Houston is some diverse mecca never seen before in the United States, and that it's current diversity is something yearned for by other new urbanists.  In fact, Houston's brand of diversity is something the new urbanists want to rid us of.  They detest the taco trucks on the street side and unregulated string of new businesses popping up in the suburbs and newly middle-class immigrants buying automobiles.

New Yorkers aren't coming to Houston because we're some new-urban paradise, they're coming here because they can get a job, raise their children and live in something that's greater than a 300 sq/ft efficiency apartment with paper thin walls and a lift that only works on the vernal equinox.

And while it does seem that Houston's new urbanists contingent has decided to try and bring an end to everything in Houston that's successful the numbers show that they're not having much success.

Thank goodness.

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