Sunbelt Continues to Draw Population
It is new data (2016 Population Estimates), but the story is much the same. Southern metros dominated the most recent population growth data. The Dallas-Ft. Worth and Houston metros each added over 100,000 new residents. Phoenix, Atlanta and Seattle round out the top 5.
The interactive map below allows you to explore the population trends in the largest metros in the country (those with at least 500,000 people). While overall population growth is interesting, the components of population are particularly telling. Population change is comprised of natural growth (births-deaths) and net migration. Migration itself is broken down into international and domestic migration. It is domestic migration that tells the most interesting story. Net domestic migration is a good measure of economic opportunity and overall desirability. People migrate for many reasons, but economics is a big one. If a metro consistently sees strong, positive net domestic migration, it must mean they are also able to provide economic opportunity. Again, sunbelt metros dominate. Seattle is the only metro in the top ten in net domestic migration that is not in the sunbelt.
Here is the data in table form.