Migration Madness 2016

George Hammond, Ph.D., EBRC Director and Research Professor
Jennifer Pullen, Research Economist

How to Play Migration Madness

Fill out your bracket, selecting the state you believe has a higher “Quality of Life.”

Migration Madness is for entertainment purposes only. Winners at each round are determined by a global ranking based on U.S. domestic migration data. We will reveal the global ranking at the end of the tournament. States will fall out of the tournament in order of ranking. Play along and see if you can select the state with the highest quality of life! 

How Winning States Are Determined

Location plays an important role in our lives and changing locations is costly. It can involve hiring moving vans, recruiting friends/family, sometimes driving long-distances. It can also disrupt or re-establish long-standing work and family ties. One consequence of that fact is that people carefully consider migration decisions. They tend to spend a great deal of time gathering and weighing information about possible destination locations before making a move. This information might pertain to climate, economic opportunities, crime rates, etc.

Thus, migration decisions contain a large amount of information about the overall “quality of life” or “standard of living” of locations. Following the approach outlined in Douglas (1997) we exploit U.S. domestic migration data from the Census Bureau (American Community Survey one-year estimates for 2010-2014) to create a rank ordering of states. To read more details on the ranking method and historical rankings click the link below.
Read More about the Methodology and to View Previous Year Results


Douglas, Stratford. 1997. “Estimating Relative Standard of Living in the United States Using Cross-Migration Data,” Journal of Regional Science, 37,3, 411-436.

Migration Madness Results

 Click to Download the Full Bracket with Final Results

[[nid:16133]]*rankings were determined using the American Community Survey one-year estimates for 2010-2014