States May Be "Big Losers," but Cities Still Gain

 (They have plows in the city, ya know.)
(They have plows in the city, ya know.)

The Census Bureau's tally of state population changes, released just before Christmas, has become more fodder for some long-suffering states. Five of the nation's largest states were dubbed "the biggest losers," meaning they saw the highest imbalance between people moving out and people moving in.

Not surprisingly, none of the losing states is exactly a picture of economic health. California topped the list, losing more than 98,000 residents. Michigan, Illinois and Ohio lost more than 170,000 between the three of them. New York and New Jersey combined to lose almost 130,000, and Florida lost 31,179.

Sure, it's fun it is to pick on insolvent California, seedy Illinois, and New York, with its Wall Street villains and laid off media mavens. But a closer look at the data reveals a more complex picture.