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Generations of people came to the Midwest in hopes of finding a better life. But economic opportunity has been harder to find since the recession began, and people have left the region in record numbers in search of jobs or a better housing market. Changing Gears “Midwest Migration” project is collecting photos, stories, and voicemail messages from former Midwesterners – people who have left region since the recession of 2008.We’re mapping where people ended up, and we're sharing their stories about why they left and whether life is better for them now.We’ll also hear whether they plan to return to the Midwest.You can share your Midwest migration story here, and see responses on our Midwest Migration tumblr page.The Midwest Migration will run through mid-February 2012.

Midwestern migrants are putting down roots in the sun belt

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Andrew Reed
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Andrew Reed with his sons William, 14, and David, 11.

Changing Gears' Midwest Migration” project is featuring the stories of former Midwesterners – people who have left region since the recession of 2008.

Name: Andrew Reed
Midwest Home: Kalamazoo, MI
New Home: Atlanta, GA

I left because there were no jobs in Michigan, and the Sun Belt seemed to be thriving by comparison. A secondary reason had to do with long, cold, snowy winters. Is it better here? Yes, I think so, although nowhere is good in this depressed economy.

I have two sons who were born and raised here, and I bought a small farm here almost three years ago. I have two sisters back in Michigan, as well as many friends, and I go to visit every few years, but I will not move back there.

If you or someone you know has left the Midwest add your own story.

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