NPR logo Migration To Arizona, Nevada, Carolinas Slows: Census


Migration To Arizona, Nevada, Carolinas Slows: Census

The Census Bureau reported Wednesday that population migration has slowed to some of the states hardest hit by recession-induced job losses and foreclosures.

Indeed, according to the bureau's latest estimates, in the case of Florida and Nevada, more people left those states than entered between July 1, 2008 and July 1, 2009. These states had significant in-migration earlier in the decade.

An excerpt from the bureau's press release:

Texas gained more people than any other state between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009 (478,000), followed by California (381,000), North Carolina (134,000), Georgia (131,000) and Florida (114,000), according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

California remained the most populous state, with a July 1, 2009, population of 37 million. Rounding out the top five states were Texas (24.8 million), New York (19.5 million), Florida (18.5 million) and Illinois (12.9 million).

... Net domestic migration has slowed dramatically in many states in the South and West, including Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, South Carolina and Montana.

Several states have negative net domestic migration, which means more people are moving out than moving in. Florida and Nevada, which earlier in the decade had net inflows, are now experiencing new outflows.

The Washington Post reported on the new census data thusly:

The state population numbers released Wednesday reflect how the weak economy and the housing bust have forced many people to stay put instead of moving. Growth rates were down significantly in several states, including Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Conversely, states such as California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York showed a continued upswing after years in decline in the first half of the decade.

Florida and Nevada are the two states that have fallen the hardest and swiftest.

In the first five years of the decade, Florida and Nevada were routinely among the top five in both population gain and growth rate. Just a year ago, Nevada slipped some but still stood at seventh in its growth rate.

But in the latest report, both were among 23 states in which more people moved out than moved in. Florida had a net loss of 31,000, placing it seventh from the bottom. Nevada was 16th from the bottom, with a net loss of about 4,000.

"Florida was a state people moved to," said William H. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution. "Now it's attracting fewer people. It was a growth machine, and it just sort of stopped."