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It was a casual remark, during a recent phone conversation, with a friend from Oklahoma, which suddenly appeared in my mind sometime later.

“Do you know they are paying people money to move to Tulsa?” She said although it took a few weeks for that comment to register with me.

American cities and states have offer incentives, moving incentives, for years, with the goal of attracting workers. Recent programs, in the state of Vermont and in the city of Tulsa, are now offering money, as part of a resident recruitment strategy. The focus is on recruiting workers, not businesses, to relocate. The recruited individuals are not offer jobs – they must have remote access to their employers or they must find their own employment – rather they will receive a financial incentive for residing in Vermont or Tulsa for a specified period of time.

Vermont’s program offers up to $10,000 for a two-year residency. Tulsa Oklahoma program offers $10,000 for a year’s residency. These programs do involve a strident application process.

Other cities with Residency Recruitment Incentive Programs include Baltimore Maryland, North Platte Nebraska, St. Clair County Michigan, and New Haven Connecticut.

Other states are experimenting with alternate resident recruitment tactics. Florida, Kansas, Maine, Michigan and Minnesota have offered discounts for housing rent, subsidies for student loans, and free parcels of land. In general, the motive for these plans is economic however in the case of the state of Vermont there is hope to boost the state’s population, which is rapidly aging.

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Mobility within our American populace has been a national characteristic since the founding of the nation. The country grew west, from its originally coastal 13 states, while massive swaths of land attached itself, to the country, over the decades in the 18th and 19th centuries. As the country grew westward, mass migrations moved westward.

It was roughly the first half of the 20th century in which the Great Migration or the Black Migration – the largest internal mass population movement in US history – occurred (1916-1970). Approximately 6 million African-American migrated from Southeast United States to urban centers in the Northeast, Midwest, and the West. The primary reasons for the mass relocations was to escape poor economic conditions, and racial segregation and discrimination; However, African-Americans did continue to face employment, housing, and discrimination challenges in their new locations.

Other significant population relocations, or significant forced migrations, included the forced relocations of Native American populations in the mid-19th century (1830-1850), and the forced relocation and incarceration of Japanese citizenry during the World War II years (1942-1945).

The Trail of Tears refers to a series of forced migrations of Native Americans in the 19th century as authorized by the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Tribes primarily relocated from ancestral lands in the Southeast to locations further west; these groups marched, on foot, hundreds of miles to these new locations and several thousand died in-route. Approximately, 60,000 Native Americans relocated; these groups included a small percentage of mixed race individuals and black slaves.

The mid-19th century was a tumultuous period of sovereignty issues, territorial disputes, and warred skirmishes between Native American tribes and the US government; in general, Native American interests greatly diminished during this time period. However, there were some amount of financial restitution and legal redress, to native tribes, through court cases in the late 19th and early 20th century related to forced migration.

And. In the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack, by the country of Japan, approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans – 60% of these individuals were US citizens – were imprisoned in US camps during World War II; internment of a small percentage of German-Americans and Italian-Americans occurred during this time-period. Of the Japanese Americans residing in Hawaii – 1/3 of the Hawaiian population – only a very tiny percentage faced internment.

As per President Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 (February 1942) Japanese-American citizens primarily relocated from the West Coast to camps in the interior of Western states. During the internment period, many Japanese American lost personal property, real property, and income.

A formal governmental investigation in the early 1980s officially concluded that the internment was more about racism than a legitimate security issue. Financial reparations, by the US government, to the camp survivors, occurred in the late 1980s.
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Characteristically, in the present time, Americans continue to move, from where they were born. They relocate for a variety of reasons although economics usually rank the highest. Currently, the five states, which have the most outbound population flow, are Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Kansas. The states with most inbound population flow are Vermont, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and South Dakota.