The income drain has been most pronounced within Shelby County. During a 10-year period ending in 2007, the county sustained a net loss of $1.83 billion in incomes among residents moving in and those leaving.
Not only did the number of wage-earners leaving (173,601) outnumber those coming in (155,660), but the average income of the outgoing residents was greater than those arriving -- $46,880, compared with $40,544.
The bleeding, however, hasn't been restricted to Shelby's confines. The entire eight-county Memphis metropolitan area suffered net income losses during eight of the 10 years, with the total deficit for the period exceeding $398 million.