Another Top-10 List — Cities Americans Are Departing 2010-2017

An estimated 40 million Americans move at least once each year, making up roughly 14 percent of the U.S. population.  Trends in moving have been towards warmer climates, more affordable destinations and to where there are jobs.  Many trends have been ongoing for 50 years or more.

In the last quarter of 2017, San Francisco lost more residents moving elsewhere than any city in the U.S. according to a study completed by Redfin.  A net 15,489 residents departed.  A February 2018 telephone survey of 500 Bay Area residents by Edelman found that 49 percent are “considering moving away from California because of the high cost of living.”  So many people are departing the San Francisco and San Jose markets that a one-way U-Haul truck rental from San Jose to Las Vegas is $2,000 while a one-way from Las Vegas to San Jose costs just $100.   It’s all about supply and demand.

Individual cities across the U.S. are either not affected, gaining population from these movers, or are losing overall in the long run.  In a recent Tweet (@DrTCJ) quoted was a study that saw more than one million people departing California from 2006 to 2016 due to either excessively high housing costs and state and local tax burdens.

To identify where Americans were exiting cities across the country over an extended period, 24/7 Wall St analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and their American Community Survey from 2010 through 2017.

Total population change is a function of net migration plus births minus deaths.  Every one of the top-10 cities with migration losses had more births than deaths.  Despite a net migration outflow, just two of the 10 MSAs had an overall net population decline: Cleveland, Ohio and Flint, Michigan as births exceeded deaths.

The home values detailed in the above table are not the same as the median prices reported by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), but rather come from the data collected in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey of 2016.   El Paso, Texas, for example, had a median price of $119,600 in this study, with NAR reporting $149,700 and the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University $146,917 (the average of the median prices for January, February and March 2018).

There were 3,945,875 births in the U.S. in 2016 and 2,712,630 deaths according to the NCHS.   That is a ratio of 1.45 births per death.  In these 10 cites, that ratio for 2010 through 2017 averages from a low of 1.1 births per death in the Cleveland-Elyria MSA to a high of 2.08 births per death in the Los Angeles-Long Beach Anaheim MSA.  Across the 10 cites was an average 1.70 births per death, much greater than the 1.45 national average.

Each year North American Van Lines analyzes the primary departure and arrivals for people completing a one-way move.

In 2017 the top inbound states were:

  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee

Leading outbound states:

  • Illinois
  • Connecticut
  • New Jersey
  • California
  • Michigan

To read the entire list of 50 cities ranked by the population decrease due to migration click

To view NAR’s median home price series click

For a copy of North American Van Lines’ 2017 Moving report click

In you have any questions or comments, just reply back.


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