A “culturally congenial,” place to live, that’s what Jacksonville is; this according to political historian Michael Barone. He cites the River City as one of our Nation’s new dream cities in his newest book, Shaping Our Nation due to its low state taxes and lower housing costs. These factors and a socially like-minded frame of thought make Jacksonville a desired destination to lay a foundation for the conservative set.

Barone states that more than ever Americans are moving to locations based on where they feel they fit in. People still move for economic incentives, sure, but according to Barone cultural comfort is not far behind. This is the idea behind Barone’s “culturally congenial” concept. He explains that liberals are more likely to migrate to a San Francisco Bay area rather than a Dallas/ Fort Worth metro-plex or a Jacksonville, Florida.

Barone goes on to explain that in recent years, the US has seen a migration from cities with high tech, high housing costs to cities with less tech and a lower cost of living. In his book, Barone points of that from 1970 through 2010, there was a massive internal migration of Americans from northern industrial cities to newer, more affable Sun Belt locations. Thusly, cities like Dallas, Atlanta, and yes, even Jacksonville (which Barone compares to a “mini-Atlanta,) has seen a boom in population.

Barone also points out that this migration was due not just for job opportunities and warmer climates but also for lower taxes. That’s why, as Barone states, Texas and Florida have seen such an exponential bump in their population.

So the combination of strong church ties, cheap rents and low taxes have made Jacksonville a dream city. A city Barone exclaims, “people don’t think about much, but is a growth magnet.” Who knows what the next few decades have in store for our beloved city with endless bridges. More bridges perhaps? Maybe more malls? Definitely more churches.

See Barone’s interview on the subject via Yahoo Finance here.