Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Nation's largest metros growing, but reasons vary

America's biggest metropolitan areas are growing, but for very different reasons, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Among metropolitan areas of 2.5 million people or larger, only Detroit lost population between July 1, 2010 and July 1, 2011. The other twenty large metro areas all saw population growth. However, drivers of growth varied widely among metropolitan areas.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau


Population change occurs because of births, deaths, and migration. Births and deaths, collectively, are referred to as "natural increase."

At the state, county, and local level, migration can measured in a variety of ways, but is often estimated in terms of net international migration (those moving into, or out of, an area from abroad) and net domestic migration (those moving into, or out of, an area from another area within the same nation).


In the nation's three largest metropolitan areas, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, population grew as a result of births, longer life expectancy, and international migration.

However, net domestic migration estimates show that more residents moved out of these areas to other parts of the United States than moved into these areas between 2010 and 2011.


The largest metropolitan areas in Texas, however, showed an entirely different pattern, acting as magnets for migration from other parts of the United States.

The Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston metro areas both grew by more than 100,000 during the year with 20 percent or more of that growth coming from net domestic migration.


Miami and Tampa, Florida's largest metropolitan areas, were also net-attractors of residents from other parts of the U.S. Miami showed fairly even population growth across all categories (20,400 natural increase, 35,200 international migrants, 36,200 domestic migrants) for net population growth of more than 92,000.

While Tampa attracted more than 27,000 domestic migrants, net international migration was less than 7,000, and an aging population resulted in net natural increase of only 2,300, the lowest of all 21 large metropolitan areas in the report.


As noted above, more residents moved out of the Los Angeles metro area than moved in between 2010 and 2011. However, other large metros in California fared better. As a result of net domestic in-migration San Francisco gained 5,900, Riverside-San Bernardino gained more than 15,000, and San Diego grew by 800.

Methodology and Source Notes:
The figures shown above are from the U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates (vintage 2011). Additional information on patterns of migration can be found in the Current Population Survey report on geographic mobility.

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