Phoenix # 1 for metro-to-metro population growth



Whether it’s for a business opportunity or the need to find a better-suited home, moving is a common occurrence in America. And, while most people who move tend to stay in the same general area, metro-to-metro migration trends produce notable population shifts within the country, which may define how subways travel. develop. And when it comes to population growth from one metropolis to another, Phoenix is ​​No. 1.

• Phoenix took first place as the most popular metro for immigration, gaining an average of 49,882 residents per year, through exchanges with other subways, between 2015 and 2019.

READ ALSO: The Hispanic population is now in the majority in Phoenix, according to the census

• Most of the new residents came from the top three contributors: Los Angeles, Tucson and Chicago.

• Most people moved from Phoenix to Tucson, Flagstaff and Prescott.

• Overall, the Sun Belt continues to be a popular destination for Americans with places like Inland Empire, Dallas and Austin making the Top 10.

For example, our previous analysis on metro to metro migration found that Sun Belt’s booming economic centers with low cost of living were gaining net population through interchange with other subways. The US Census Bureau released the latest data on metro-to-metro migration in September 2021, so we set out to find out how internal population movements had changed since our last study.

Sun Belt Metros Continues To Gain Residents Through Metro-to-Migration

Similar to our previous immigration report, the Sun Belt has maintained its status as a popular destination for Americans moving to a new metropolitan area. Certainly, some areas in the south and southwest offer the perfect combination of conditions to attract new residents: warmer climates and more sunny days per year; employment opportunities in high performance industries for new graduates; and lower rent and cost of living than in some more densely populated coastal areas. The last factor also means that these areas are potentially ideal for digital nomads and remote work – which will be a big draw in the post-pandemic world given that many companies are planning to shake up their working models.

# 1 – Phoenix

Phoenix has retained its title of most popular metro for immigration with an average of 49,882 residents per year thanks to exchanges with other subways. The Valley of the Sun has absorbed residents from across the country, with the three biggest contributors being Los Angeles, Tucson and Chicago.

Phoenix also took first place in our previous ranking, with a net annual population gain of 42,869 between 2013 and 2017. This means that the influx of people into the subway picked up during the latter part of the month. decade. As always, the causes are multiple, but the most common reasons for the growth of the sprawling metro are its relative affordability, the technological boom which is stimulating demand for Phoenix office space and the popularity of the metro as a retirement destination, meaning the metro can attract US citizens of all ages from anywhere in the country.

# 2 – Inner Empire

Inland Empire has also remained stable as the US metro with the second largest population absorption of metro-to-metro migration. In fact, it has even accelerated its population gain of 5,000 inhabitants per year compared to the last period. The neighboring city of Los Angeles supplied the metro with the majority of its new residents: Inland Empire gained 45,000 net residents per year in Los Angeles alone.

One of Inland Empire’s biggest draws is its lower cost of living than other Golden State subways. Notably, the transportation and warehousing industry here is a pillar of the local economy. And, given that warehousing and logistics related jobs are among the most dynamic in the country, Inland Empire has the potential to continue to be a magnet for metro-to-metro migration.

# 3 – Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas-Fort Worth was last on the podium, with an average net gain of over 39,000 people per year between 2015 and 2019. Like the other two podium entries, the uptake of DFW’s population has accelerated towards the end of the last decade.

The subway also edged out other cities in the state – including Houston, which was ranked third in our previous article, but fell just outside the top 10 this year. People traveling to the area from major subways outside of the state – such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC – were the primary cause of the metroplex population influx, as DFW loses its net population to the benefit of Houston and Austin.

A variety of aspects attract movers to Lone Star State’s largest metro: the region benefits from economic factors, such as a business climate that can accommodate both giants and startups, as well as opportunities jobs in technology, health, manufacturing and resource extraction. But, Dallas-Fort Worth is also one of the best subways for Generation Z, with a young population and many options for higher education.

# 4 – Austin

Gaining an average of 27,251 net residents per year on other subways, Austin reached fourth on our list primarily by gaining in population exchanges with other Texas subways including Houston, DFW, and San Antonio. However, the metro is one of the hottest places in the whole country for people wishing to move. In reality, Austin’s population includes a large portion of millennials, who are attracted by its availability of jobs, as well as its vibrant atmosphere.

But Austin’s population is growing rapidly from sources other than young professionals moving: According to U.S. Census data, the overall metro population grew 33% between 2010 and 2020, making it the strongest growth among the 50 largest metropolises in the US

# 5 – Las Vegas

Las Vegas gained 25,775 residents per year in other subways between 2015 and 2019, almost 6,000 more residents per year compared to our previous study, which means that the influx of people has accelerated considerably. towards the end of the decade.

One of Vegas’ main draws is that it is a more affordable option for residents leaving California’s subways, which are its main sources of metro-to-metro migration. However, the local economy, which now combines both the traditional entertainment industry and other more diverse sectors, such as those driving demand for offices in Las Vegas – means that the metro also brings economic opportunities for companies and employees.

# 6 – Tampa

Florida had three entries on our list – the most of any state – and the highest ranked among them was Tampa at No.6, with just over 25,000 residents earned per year on other subways. .

In addition to Sunshine State’s status as a popular destination for retirees, job opportunities and economic factors are also boosting the absorption of the population, especially New York City. Here, industries such as professional and business services; finance and technology boost employment in Tampa offices, potentially attracting potential residents.

# 7 – Jacksonville

Next on the list was Jacksonville – a new entry with a net influx of 20,388 residents per year from metro-to-metro migration. According to US census data, the combination of immigration to Jacksonville and new residents from other sources means the metro reached a population of 1.6 million in 2020, an increase of 19.3 % compared to 1.34 million in 2010.

Jacksonville boasts a strong healthcare industry in addition to a diverse mix of other industries. Additionally, a well-developed tourism industry and affordable cost of living have also contributed to the net influx of residents to Jax, the main sources of population being Miami; Orlando, Florida; and New York.

# 8 – Orlando

Orlando came second only to Jacksonville with 20,036 residents gained through immigration per year, with many coming from Miami and New York.

With a business climate similar to Jacksonville, Orlando has a lot of attractions besides its great weather. And, the subway’s diverse population has grown significantly from other sources as well, from 2.13 million in 2010 to 2.73 million in 2020 – an increase of 25.3% – making it the second largest metro in the United States. fastest growing in the past decade.

# 9 – Charlotte

On average, Charlotte gained 19,712 residents of other metros between 2015 and 2019, which is a slight decrease from the 21,143 recorded in the period of our previous study.

Even so, it is still one of the fastest growing metropolises in the country when other sources of population are taken into account. In fact, over the past decade, Charlotte was the ninth fastest growing major metro, by percentage, with a population increase of 18.6%. The subway will likely continue to attract residents from both Carolinas, as well as New York City – its main source of moving residents – especially given its economic landscape that is ready for remote working.

# 10 – Raleigh

Raleigh closed the top 10, gaining 19,166 residents per year, on average, between 2015 and 2019. The subway is popular both for removals in North Carolina, as well as for arrivals from other states.

Notably, previous CommercialCafe studies ranked the city as a top option for Gen Z and Millennials, which is reflected in its influx of people. But in addition to those demographics, Raleigh is gaining residents from other sources as well, with its population growing 25.1% between 2010 and 2020, reaching 1.41 million last year.

Although the pandemic may have, at first, called into question the previous mobility trends, the Americans are rapidly picking up the pace. And, remote working and other economic upheavals caused by COVID-19 have likely pushed Americans into the suburbs. However, the same Sun Belt economic hotspots that were gaining in the metro-to-metro migration before the pandemic are likely to maintain their momentum or even see it accelerate as people seek better accessibility, coupled with more top jobs. range that can operate in remote or hybrid work models.


  • The net annual population gain is calculated by deducting the number of residents lost for other metros between 2015 and 2019 from the number of residents gained for other metros between 2015 and 2019.
  • We looked at migration between metropolitan statistical areas in the continental United States.
  • Metro-to-metro migration estimates for 2015-2019 were released by the US Census Bureau in September 2021.
  • Non-internal migration, as well as migration to or from places outside a metropolitan area have been excluded.
  • Data on population growth from all sources between 2010 and 2020 was also provided by the US Census Bureau.
  • For each of the 10 main metropolises, the three main sources of migratory influx towards the metropolis and the three main destinations of migratory influx outside the metropolis were highlighted.



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