Data Sources For Would-Be Conservative Refugees or Retirees

(I posted this previously on the member feed on the other place, and was asked to put it somewhere that could be publicly linked.)

Had it up to here with your wallet-filching, bossy, sanctimonious state or local government and/or neighbors? Ready to bail out of that blue state for good, light out for the Promised Land, and put down new roots? There’s a lot of it going around.

As always, look before you leap. In this age of the Intertubes, there’s plenty of free data available to do advance screening before hitting the road to see what feels right in person. I went through this exercise in the early 2010’s (resulting in a retirement move from CA to ID) and recently dug up a list of the data sources I used at the time. I’ve reviewed it to update the links and add new as appropriate. That list, less some personal interest items, is what follows, with commentary.

Overview Sites

City-Data: Compilations of a wide variety of open source demographic, economic, and environmental data by town, county, metro. A large Forum area organized by geography where you can talk to locals and other would-be refugees.

Best Places: Free-mium site with free public data, subscription required for deeper analysis.

Freedom – It’s why you’re moving, right?

Cato Institute, Freedom in the 50 states – Overall and by topic rankings, with data

Reason.org Metropolitan Area Economic Freedom Index: Overview Report (2018) Excel

Taxes – Current Situation

Tax Foundation: State level tax overview

Tax Foundation – state and local comparison tables

Could your new home turn into a tax hell?

ALEC: Public pension liabilities by state

ALEC: Bonded debt by State

ALEC: Non-pension benefit liabilities by state

Boston College – Public pension plans data

Pew: A variety of state level retirement system data

Kaiser – State budget shortfalls, 2017-8

Searchable Public Fund Survey – actuarial funding of public pensions, by state and (some) metros

Business Conditions

Business site development survey of states

Milken Institute – Best locations for jobs

Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council State Business Policy Index

Health and Education

Home schooling laws by state

Hospital data – individual and state level

Milken Institute State Technology and Science Index

Dead Weight

Cato: Welfare Benefits by State (2013)

Kaiser: Medicaid spending by state

Pew: Estimated illegal immigrants, by state (2016)

Ready to Move?

Zillow

Trulia

Hotpads (primarily rental)

Wolf Street: Blog runs periodic updates on major metro sale and rental trends

This is offered in the interests of turning grumbling into action. There’s not a week goes by that we don’t look at each other, on hearing some new craziness out of California, and say ‘Boy did we do the right thing!’ That can be you, too!

If you have good sources of data for these or other relevant topics, please post them in the comments.


Edited by röcklöbster for formatting.

7 thoughts on “Data Sources For Would-Be Conservative Refugees or Retirees”

  1. Yes, but did CA stop taxing you even after you left? I have heard they pursue productive US citizen refugees from their utopia unto the grave (and even after). They must, after all assure generous benefits for their burgeoning illegal population, whose rights are superior to those of legal residents and especially to those who leave in order to stop being mulcted.

  2. Thanks for this extensive list of resources. I’ve only just begun to explore them. The ones I’ve examined so far have proven useful, especially City Data and the Cato Freedom link.

  3. Just a passing thought — We can run, but we can’t hide. Consequently, it is important to establish one’s personal timeline. Am I looking for a quiet place to spend the last 5 years of my life? Or am I looking for a place to put down roots and live for the next quarter century or more?

    What brings this to mind is that some of the most disappointed people in the US today are the legal immigrants who voted with their feet 15 – 30 years ago and came to make a new life in America, far from the foolishness of their native lands. And look what happened!

    If one happens to be in the quarter century plus category, the most important criterion for choosing a new place to live is probably the school system, whether one has children or not. Because in the next quarter century, the products of that school system will have a very large impact on what life will be like in that locality.

  4. Civil Westman:
    Yes, but did CA stop taxing you even after you left? I have heard they pursue productive US citizen refugees from their utopia unto the grave (and even after). They must, after all assure generous benefits for their burgeoning illegal population, whose rights are superior to those of legal residents and especially to those who leave in order to stop being mulcted.

    We left CA in 2014, before the recent talk of pursuing ‘extraterritorial’ taxation started. That the state budget would reach a point where they came for the savings of retirees was already obvious to those paying attention, and one of the reasons we left.

    I had to file taxes in CA for a few years after physical departure, because I still had an interest in a partnership there. Having the resources to retire early, I was able to minimize my income for those years, making sure they got something between squat and a pittance out of me. The partnership has since been dissolved so I no longer file there.

    (Aside: thank you to the crustacean-in-chief for cleaning up my formatting.)

  5. Gavin Longmuir: If one happens to be in the quarter century plus category, the most important criterion for choosing a new place to live is probably the school system, whether one has children or not. Because in the next quarter century, the products of that school system will have a very large impact on what life will be like in that locality.

    Interesting point. I wonder if there is much difference in the wokeness of school systems around the country and how one could discern the wokeness level. That would affect the quality of the electorate and the political class.

    If the issue is only work competence, that’s less concerning since the main effects on day-to-day life are a result of how competent tradesmen are, which has little to so with the public school system. The quality of degree holders in gender studies is of little significance as long as the truckers, plumbers, and electricians know how to do their jobs. The housekeepers and gardeners will still be okay.

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