Asia's Rise Keeps Pulling Americans West

Population and industry tend to move closer to a country's biggest trade partners.

Go west until you can't go any farther.

Photographer: Henry Guttman/Getty Images

It seems like forever we’ve been hearing about the decline of the Rust Belt, and people migrating to the West Coast. But why? Why did manufacturing decline in the Midwest? Why are rents so high in California, and house prices surging in the Pacific Northwest? Why does the U.S. population continue to move slowly from East to West? Part of the answer might lie in the shifting patterns of international trade.

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