Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"Bright flight"

The NY Times (registration required, sorry) recently featured an interesting bit on the phenomenon I prefer to know as "youth flight" instead of "brain drain" or "bright flight." I know some very capable people who have remained "upstate" (a definition of the area just north of Manhattan, apparently, if you're a NY Times reader).

My only critical comment on the piece itself is just the seeming acceptance of M&T Bank as some sort of research institute. Overall, it's an adequate if unsurprising story on how people leave because it's a poor business economy upstate.

Whenever I see one of these stories, I tend to answer it in anecdotal evidence as someone who was raised upstate (or, "Southern Canada" if you're a NY Times reader). Most of my friends and acquaintances didn't leave our home area because of a lack of jobs. When we went away to college, we never planned on coming back. We'll talk about "home" as a good place to raise kids, and maybe sometime in a couple decades, a nice place to have a second home, or maybe a second career. The dominant culture of the place was just not something welcoming and inviting to a 20 or 30something with dreams and aspirations and that had more effect on youthful plans than the economy.


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