Regular readers know I grew up in a small town in Kansas. Despite leaving long ago, I still consider myself a midwestern farm boy at heart.
So I was very excited to see the Texas Tech study The Rise of the Great Plains. It covers the economic Renaissance happening in the midwest.
The report identifies 3 drivers of this growth:
1. The great plains is taking advantage of rising global demand for commodities, especially food and fuel.
2. Technology is making easier to tap into resources, and also better connecting the Midwest to the rest of the world.
3. Migration patterns have shifted, resulting in many Plains states showing positive net migration.
Low unemployment rates and lower costs of living are the main reasons for the positive net migration. But the midwest also benefits from a growing number of vibrant urban areas. Cities like Des Moines, Minneapolis, Omaha, Oklahoma City and Tulsa are great places to live.
The Midwest will likely continue to thrive in the coming years. Demand for food and fuel will continue to be strong and the growing reshoring of manufacturing and services will also benefit these states.
Bottom line - if Horace Greeley were alive today he would likely say "Go Midwest young man/women" (Greeley would no doubt be very politically correct if he were alive today). He might even suggest going to Greeley, Colorado, a growing town of 100,000.
Newgeography has a nice review of the study, which they coauthored.