Real Estate

Which Cities Are Growing Most at the Expense of Others?

Making a move from one city to another? You’re not alone. Populations in metropolitan areas are constantly shifting: Residents may be drawn in while jobs are plentiful, or forced out by rising rents. Maybe they’re starting a family or reaching retirement age and looking for a more suitable city.

The U.S. Census Bureau shed light on intercity moves in its recent data release spanning 2015 to 2019, which was analyzed by CommercialCafe to find the U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest average annual population gains at the expense of others. The analysis also revealed the top source metros — where people came from — as shown in this week’s chart.

To reach the results, annual population losses were subtracted from gains to arrive at an average net figure for each statistical metropolitan area in the contiguous United States. (Statistical metropolitan areas include cities and surrounding communities that share the local economy). People who arrived from rural areas or other countries were not counted, nor were changes from births and deaths.

Metros with warmer climates dominate the list. Phoenix came out on top with an average net population gain of nearly 50,000 a year, with the largest group arriving from Los Angeles. The City of Angels was also the biggest source of growth for Las Vegas, which finished fifth, and the second-biggest source for Dallas-Fort Worth, in third.

Miami also was a big player in this game of musical chairs, feeding metros in the Florida cities of Tampa, Jacksonville and Orlando. While the study found that a lot of migration among the top 10 metros was to and from nearby areas, Charlotte, N.C., was different, with its main source being New Yorkers.

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