Bright Lights, Not-So-Big Cities: Where Americans Are Moving

Bright Lights, Not-So-Big Cities: Where Americans Are Moving

  • Megan Douglas
  • 08/28/15

I think Denver residents may be surprised to see where Denver ranks in relation to the national migration pattern….Among today’s urban migrants, Austin, TX, and Riverside, CA, hold more appeal than New York City and Los Angeles. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 18% of people who moved last year—that’s 8.5 million people—traded one metropolitan area for another, and a big chunk of them traded down for a smaller city not far away. Los Angeles is still the top destination, with almost 245,000 people relocating from other metro areas, followed by New York City and Washington, DC. However, these big cities are also losing residents—more then they’re gaining. Almost 400,000 people quit The Big Apple last year, and 340,000 fled Los Angeles. (Note that this Census report looked only at people moving between metropolitan areas, and so didn’t count people moving between cities and small towns.)

Smaller cities such as Austin and Riverside—and not-so-small Houston—are gaining prosperity, with more people moving in than out.

A separate Census Bureau study showed that 10% of U.S. residents are dissatisfied with their current housing, neighborhood, local safety, or public services to the point that they want to move.

For those who did move from one metro area to another, the data showed they didn’t go too far. Check out the map below to see which cities are seeing the biggest inflow and outflow of residents.

With Denver’s housing market #1 in the nation and more and more people moving for a healthy lifestyle change…it’s hard to believe it but Denver didn’t even make the list.

By the numbers: Top 10 urban migration paths

1. Los Angeles, CA → Riverside, CA: 90,494
2. Riverside, CA → Los Angeles, CA: 54,711
3. New York, NY→ Philadelphia, PA: 26,957
4. San Jose, CA → San Francisco, CA: 24,536
5. Washington, DC → Baltimore, MD: 22,944
6. New York, NY → Miami, FL: 22,226
7. Baltimore, MD → Washington, DC: 21,457
8. San Diego, CA → Riverside, CA: 19,667
9. Philadelphia, PA → New York, NY: 19,336
10. San Francisco, CA → San Jose, CA: 18,680



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