The Midwest has the highest concentration of homegrown residents of any region in the country.
That’s good and bad news, according to analysts. The distinction could mean the Midwest has done the best job retaining strong community ties with native residents. It can also mean the area, overall, has struggled to lure employees from other states.
William Frey, a Brookings Institution demographer, tells Governing, which compiled state-by-state data on residents living in the state of their births, that “you have a very rooted population in some of the Midwestern middle of the country,” while the western U.S. is “still filling in.”
Louisiana ranked highest in the data with an overall homegrown population of 78.8 percent, but Midwestern states took the next four spots: Michigan (76.6 percent), Ohio (75.1 percent), Pennsylvania (74.0 percent) and Wisconsin (72.1 percent).
Looking at the homegrown population ages 25 and up, the results are similar. The top five are: Louisiana (75.0 percent), Michigan (71.9 percent), Pennsylvania (71.4), West Virginia (70.7) and Ohio (70.2).
Nationwide, slightly less than half residents age 25 and above live in the state of their birth, according to Governing.
Across the Midwest, the six states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Minnesota averaged 71.3 percent of homegrown residents. The Deep South ranked second, with the five states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina averaging 66.9 percent.
Here are state-specific results across for homegrown populations across the Midwest:
Michigan 76.6 percent
Ohio 75.1 percent
Wisconsin 72.1 percent
Minnesota 68.8 percent
Indiana 68.3 percent
Illinois 67.1 percent
Midwest percentage homegrown, age 25 and above
Michigan 71.9 percent
Ohio 70.2 percent
Wisconsin 68.4 percent
Minnesota 63.8 percent
Indiana 63.2 percent
Illinois 59.3 percent
Curious about the rest of the country? Here’s an interactive map at Governing that has state-by-state data.