Moving to a new city can have a tremendous impact on a person’s life. Similarly, migration can have a significant impact on an area’s economy. With hundreds of thousands of people relocating within the United States every year, states and cities in particular compete with one another to attract new residents.
Based on net migration data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the cities with the highest incoming and outgoing net migration over the last five years.
Americans have migrated from northern to southern cities in recent years. Nine out of the 10 cities with the highest incoming migration are located in the south.
Relative to their population, there was a significant outgoing migration from cities in the north such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Detroit. The New York City metropolitan area alone lost a net of more than 700,000 people — the largest net migration loss of any U.S. metro. At the same time, southern cities such as Orlando, Atlanta, and Houston all gained at least a net 100,000 new residents.
The availability of jobs is perhaps the most important factor for Americans seeking to relocate. The national unemployment rate fell from 9.9% in April 2010 to 5.3% in July 2015, a 4.6 percentage point improvement. During the same time period, unemployment in seven of the 10 cities with the highest incoming domestic migration improved even more. By contrast, the unemployment rates in nine of the 10 cities with the highest share of their population leaving declined at a slower pace than the national decline over that period.
To identify the cities with the highest rates of domestic migration, 24/7 Wall St. analyzed domestic migration data from April 2010 to July 2015 from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates, the size of the labor force, and employment levels are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
These are the cities attracting the most people, and the cities Americans are abandoning.