The complete and total collapse of the global economy had at least one upside for Americans: it briefly stopped them from moving to brand new housing developments in hellish southwestern desert exurbs. Only for a few years though, alas. The great migration of Americans towards hot places their children will come to loathe is back on!

From the summer of 2011 to the summer of 2012, what was the fastest growing metro area in America? What do you think? What would you guess? LA? New York? Denver, or some shit? Try Midland, Texas. Just pack up, move on out to Midland, Texas, get a nice job in a gas field, make friends with the god damn Bush family put a deposit on a nice split-level ranch, and promptly die from petroleum-induced cancer. It's the American dream. I challenge you to find a single location on this list of the ten fastest growing metro areas that proves that Americans have any good ideas whatsoever:

1. Midland, Texas
2. Clarksville, Tenn.-Ky.
3. Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Fla.
4. The Villages, Fla.
5. Odessa, Texas
6. Jacksonville, N.C.
7. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
8. Casper, Wyo.
9. Columbus, Ga.-Ala.
10. Manhattan, Kan.

"Austin is nice..." South by Southwest. "Destin's beaches are..." Hurricane bait. The ten fastest growing metro areas prove that Americans are just not good at picking places to move to that are not dead end small town hellholes. I hate to be blunt. I really do. But I come from North Florida, a similar once-attractive shithole. And if you do not think that, 15 years from now, there will be an entire generation of kids sucking down stolen Oxycontin in cheap areas of The Villages, drowning in angst, pining for the vitality of urbanism, then brother, I have a nice condo to sell you in Columbus, Georgia, which is conveniently located near lots of good hunting and fishing, so no one will notice when you wander out into the woods to blow your head off because you moved to Columbus, Georgia and you just can't get out of the damn place now.

The macro data taken as a whole shows that in general the big American migration to the west and southwest is back on again, which is good, because the desert scavengers can pick clean the bodies of the dead and leave only bones for future anthropologists to wonder over. "Why were they here?" they'll wonder, fingering a bleached skeleton in a bed of petrified Fritos somewhere in the parched post-global-warming western deserts. "Why did they ever come here?"

[US Census. Photo of the natural beauty of Midland, Texas: Flickr]