This article lays bare a disturbing trend reflecting net migrations to and from cities. In cases where median inbound incomes are higher than outbound, these economies thrive – where less, they falter. The issue is, these patterns become self-perpetuating. It’s also sobering to learn this was predicted almost a decade ago by Bill Bishop in his book describing what he calls the “big sort.” Fuel for thought and discussion …

The Sunbelt is growing, the Rust Belt is dying, and the only thing keeping expensive coastal cities afloat is international immigration, as American-born residents flee their escalating housing prices. That pretty much sums up the conventional wisdom about the recent growth and decline of U.S. cities.

But the conventional wisdom masks a deeper trend: America’s geography continues to be reshaped by a polarized pattern of socioeconomic sorting. This process is driven by a selective population shift of the most affluent, the best-educated, and the young to expensive coastal metros like the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Seattle, and the New York–Boston–Washington corridor, with the less affluent and less educated flowing into cheaper Sunbelt metros, and the even less advantaged trapped in Rust Belt areas. […]