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Houston's Net Domestic Migration Data Show a Lot of High School Dropouts

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Among the big cities that grew the most in Texas, it seems like Houston's still safe for the people who aren't really into college.

The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown area had a total net domestic migration of 19,178 in 2012, according to a demographic analysis of Census data done in conjunction with the Martin Prosperity Institute, appeared on the Atlanic's Citylab blog. That number included 2,952 people with a graduate or professional degree and 3,059 people with just a bachelors. A total of 5,624 had some college or an associate's degree, while 5,270 came to the are with just a high school diploma.

To compare with other cities, Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos area had net domestic migration of 19,753 with 5,085 headed there with at least a bachelors degree and 2,557 with only a high school education. San Antonio-New Braunfels saw 10,992 people coming in and 4,616 of them had bachelors degrees, while 1,920 just did the high school thing.

What does this all mean? Well, according to the study of the data, it means that people without that almighty college degree (which, let's be honest, mean less and less these days) are priced out of some of the more expensive places. Houston, with its stable housing market (for now long, we don't know) is still a draw for people and it's not impossible to get a job in certain industries without a college degree. So, we're told.

Houston along with the following cities metropolitan cities got the biggest bump in net migration gains from folks those with just a high school degree, and they included Atlanta, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and in Florida, Fort Myers, Tampa, and Sarasota.

The places that sucked up the most education people were San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Miami. No surprise there.

While this is just a peek at a year-in-the-life of migration what really matters is where we're headed. According to another data point in the story, a changing, more tolerant, and more culturally interesting Houston, is probably set to be a bigger draw for the smarties out there.

College-educated workers are drawn to metros with abundant cultural offerings as well as job opportunities. The net migration of college grads was even more closely associated with the concentration of gay and lesbian people (.38). In fact, this correlation was the strongest of any in our analysis. This suggests that open-mindedness, tolerance, and diversity continue to play a substantial role in the migration of highly educated people.

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