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Metropolitan Migration Patterns Show Some Cities Growing at the Expense of Others

New Urbanism

Metropolitan Migration Patterns Show Some Cities Growing at the Expense of Others

How one city’s loss is another’s gain.

November 5, 2021
Crowd of people walking in city

Intercity moves across the United States are seeing more metro residents flocking to areas with warmer climates, causing major cities like Los Angeles and New York to experience slight population losses, The New York Times reports.

Data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that metropolitan migration patterns feed cities like Phoenix, Arizona and Riverside, California with more people moving away from powerhouse metros like Houston, Miami, and Los Angeles. 

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.

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