National Edition

10 things that are wicked attractive about the Northern U.S.

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 27 2014 2:40 p.m. MDT

A recent study found that many people are moving to the North. But why? Here are 10 things that are bringing people there.

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Looks like American girls are better off in the North.

That’s at least according to a survey by the Girl Scouts Research Institute, which found that most American girls find more comfort and success in the North. On many occasions, Southern girls will move to the Northeast, Midwest or the Mid-Atlantic at some point in their lives.

“Girls are thriving in some areas, but there are portions of our population really left behind,” Kamla Modi, a senior researcher with the Girl Scout Research Institute, told Al Jazeera America. “It’s the first we’ve really seen how different the data is geographically. There are real issues girls are facing in the South.”

But not all of America is moving in a northern direction. In fact, the 2010 U.S. Census found that the West and South are getting the highest amount of migrants — at 13.8 and 14.3 percent, respectively.

Still, there are some benefits that come from living in the North. Here are 10 of the things that people may find attractive about the Northern U.S.:

It has some of the best colleges in the United States

U.S. News and World Report offered its rankings of best colleges just a couple of weeks ago, and many of the schools at the top of the list hail from the Northeastern United States. King of the list is Princeton University, located in New Jersey, with Harvard (Massachusetts), Yale (Connecticut) and Columbia (New York) right below. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania both showed up in the top 10, too, showing that many of the nation’s top colleges are found in the Northern United States.

It’s got a lot of people

Five states — New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts — all crack the top 10 in population sizes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. New York specifically is the third most-populated state in the nation behind California and Texas.

It’s got cool cities

New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. These are just a handful of the vibrant and popular U.S. cities that are situated in the Northern United States.

The North has a rich history

Ever heard of Plymouth Rock? Had it not been for the settlers in the Northeast, the United States may have never been what it is now. The North was also home to many of the American Revolutionary War’s top moments, like the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, the Battle of Saratoga and myriad other battles.

Oh, and that fancy document... the Declaration of Independence? The U.S. Constitution? Signed, written and adapted in the North. You can check out much of the United States’ early Northern history with the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., as well as the other historical sites in these historic cities.

There aren’t a lot of natural disasters

For storm chasers and tornado hunters, it’s the North you’ll want to avoid. New York was the only state listed in bankrate.com’s recent top 10 list of states with the highest likelihood of having natural disasters. With the surrounding lakes and the ocean nearby, New York is susceptible to blizzards and tropical storms. But the rest of the North remains relatively free of the high amount of natural disasters that tackle the Plains states and the South.

It’s got the top sports teams

Look no further than the New York Yankees (the fourth most valuable team in the nation, according to Forbes) and the Boston Red Sox (the 11th most valuable team in the nation) to see that the North is loaded with historic teams. What about the Pittsburgh Steelers, or the New England Patriots? In fact, Boston has often been touted as being the championship sports city.

It has killer fall foliage