What fascinates me about this map is the apparent emptying out of entire states like Kansas and Illinois. We know larger economic trends are in play — like the shift from rural to urban, but were there also distinct policies enacted at the end of the naughts the hastened population movements. In Kansas, some of this could be laid at the door of Sam Brownback, but what happened in Illinois?
And what about the emptying out of the multi-state Mississippi Delta? A combination of economics and long-embedded racism? (Is it African Americans leaving or is it everyone?)