Urban-to-urban migration study: 6 of 10 largest metros had net migration loss

Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco are among the major U.S. metro areas to experience a net loss of migration between 2004 and 2010, according to a February 2012 report by the Urban Institute that studied migration from urban center to urban center.

March 01, 2012
Urban-to-urban migration study: 6 of 10 largest metros see migration loss

Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco are among the major U.S. metro areas to experience a net loss of migration between 2004 and 2010, according to a February 2012 report by the Urban Institute that studied migration from urban center to urban center.

Using IRS data that tracks year-to-year address changes on individual income tax returns, the group studied the nation's 100 largest metro areas. Of that group, 40 metros saw a net loss in migration between 2004-10, including six of the nation's 10 largest cities. Most of the areas to experience a net loss were based in either the Northeast, Rust Belt, or California, according to The Atlantic Cities, which summarized the report.

Other trends include:

  • The biggest net-gainers were Austin, Texas; Las Vegas; Raleigh, N.C.; Portland, Ore.; and central Florida
  • The biggest net-losers were Los Angeles; New York; Chicago; Detroit; and New Orleans
  • Most of the migration during the study period occurred before the housing crash; urban migration flatlined after 2008
  • The two biggest post-crash net-gainers were Raleigh, N.C., and Austin, Texas
  • Most people moved to urban centers nearby; for example, Portland's urban migration growth came primarily from Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

For more on the report, including an interactive map that breaks down urban migration trends within the nation's largest metros, visit: http://tinyurl.com/urban-migration.

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