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Where Americans Are Moving

Census analysis pinpoints county-to-county migration
  • April 02 2012

It’s typical to think of American migration in grand terms: the movement of African Americans from the South to the industrial Midwest; the move from Eastern cities to California…the growth of Florida and Arizona as retirement destinations. But in reality, American moves are smaller scale, but the trends are often indicative of where population growth will be occurring.

The Census Bureau has released its first county-to-county migration information since the 2000, and based on data from the 2010 Census and the American Community Survey, of the 48.1 million people who lived in a different residence in the U.S. a year earlier, 17.7 million lived in a different county.

Maricopa Ariz. (the country where Phoenix is located) has had the biggest inflow and outflow of people. People moved there from 993 different counties. Similarly, Maricopa sent outflows of people to a total of 1,156 counties. This means that individuals leaving Maricopa were more dispersed throughout the country than individuals leaving any other county. Pinal, Ariz. (13,452 residents); Los Angeles (12,403); Pima, Ariz. (7,349); San Diego (6,693); and Coconino, Ariz. (3,994) were among the counties with the highest number of people moving into Maricopa.

Overall, the most common county-to-county moves nationally were from Los Angeles to San Bernardino, Calif. (48,456 people) and Los Angeles to Orange, Calif. (41,612). Los Angeles to Riverside, Calif. (29,710); Orange, Calif., to Los Angeles (29,345); and Miami-Dade to Broward, Fla. (27,010) were among the next most common county-to-county moves.

Additionally, Los Angeles had both the highest number of people entering from another county as well as the highest number leaving for another county. On balance, however, it lost a net of about 160,000 people in this exchange.

 

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