Tens of millions of Americans relocate every year, whether it is for work, family, or retirement. Over the years, migration patterns develop as certain parts of the country have more job opportunities, better weather, or more desirable amenities than others. These areas can experience a significant increase in their populations because of the large influx of new residents.
To determine the cities Americans are flocking to, 24/7 Wall St. used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program. Cities were ranked based on the increase in population due to net migration from April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019. Supplemental data on income, educational attainment, adults age 65 and older, and poverty came from the Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey. Seasonally adjusted data on the May 2020 unemployment rate came from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Each of the 25 cities with the largest increase in population due to net migration over the past decade is either in the South or West. Florida dominates the list, with a dozen metro areas showing population increases due to net migration of at least 15% from 2010 to 2019. The only other states with multiple cities on the list are South Carolina, with three, and Texas and Idaho, with two each.
Economic opportunity may be driving some of these moves, but many are also due to retirement. As the baby boomer generation begins to age out of the workforce, retirees are heading for the warmer climates that the southern and western parts of the country offer over the Northeast. Because these warmer areas are such desirable retirement destinations, housing and services there may be more expensive, as thousands of residents are hoping to live in the same areas, making prices competitive. This is what it costs to retire comfortably in every state.
The 2020 migration patterns will likely look very different from those in the decade before. Many Americans have already left larger urban centers to avoid COVID-19 outbreaks or because they lost their jobs in the resulting economic fallout. Also, Florida’s recent spike in cases will likely drive thousands of residents to safer parts of the country. These are the states with the most COVID-19 cases.
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