Domestic Migration Is Driving Population Growth in U.S. Cities

October 10, 2019

What’s driving growth in U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) where population is increasing the fastest?

It’s neither net births nor immigration, but rather domestic migration, says Regional Economist Charles Gascon.

At a recent Dialogue with the Fed event—titled Does the Number Matter? On Governments and Regional Economic Growth—Gascon explained how domestic migration is helping to drive population growth in certain MSAs.

“Austin, Orlando, Raleigh, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Charlotte, Nashville, Denver, Seattle, Tampa. Those are places [where] … the economies are performing pretty well,” he told the audience. “So this migration is really capturing people moving to economies … [where] there continues to be a demand for workers.”

On the flip side, Gascon says outward domestic migration is the main reason for lagging growth in cities such as St. Louis and Chicago.

Overall, he said the domestic population is flocking to three areas: the Rocky Mountain area, the Southwest and the Southeast.

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