El Paso suffers from Brain Drain. Since 2012 to 2017, the County of El Paso has seen a net domestic emigration of 48,115 people, according to census data from the Border Region Modeling Project. That is, 48,115 people who were living in El Paso left.
Over that same period, 19,146 people moved to El Paso from foreign countries. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions and make your own speculations.
Also, over that some time period, 80,496 people (presumably babies) were born in El Paso County, and 30,588 people died, leaving a net natural increase of 49,908.
In the face of the lack of actual data, let’s speculate on the emigration based on anecdotal evidence and life experience.
Of those 48,115 people who left El Paso for other places in the U.S. since 2012, some few may have been transferred by their employers. Fewer still married their out-of-town college sweetheart. Many more (maybe most) went to college out of town, and liked living somewhere else. Some others matriculated from a local institute of higher education, and found they were over-educated for the local job market.
No one, I speculate, moved out of town because some other city had a big swimming pool, or a Major League Baseball affiliated team (there are 120 cities in the U.S. with a Major League Baseball affiliated team), or an arena downtown.
Those Quality of Life projects aren’t really what defines quality of life. Quality of life, instead, is defined by culture, and art, and community, and not materialistic monuments to consumerism.
Instead of expending our scarce resources on gaudy baubles with dubious benefit, we should instead focus on the things that have convinced many of us in El Paso to stay in El Paso: Our unique culture, and community. We should foster an arts climate that celebrates our unique cultures, and build on our community.