The COVID-19 pandemic created a massive shift in population across the U.S. People migrated from major cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and the Bay Area to lower-cost cities such as Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta, and Austin. There is a flight from the densely populated mega-cities as people seek a better quality of life.
Corporate relocations driving some growth
A substantial number of corporate relocations have come out of states such as California, Illinois, and New York. These massive site selection projects create an opportunity for employees to relocate to lower-cost geographies with lower taxes, less expensive housing, and more attractive quality of life among other traditional site selection factors. These projects include headquarters, manufacturing plants, distribution centers, call centers, and other similar operations. Some recent, high-profile, examples include:
- McKesson from San Francisco to Dallas
- Caterpiller from Chicago to Dallas
- AECOM from Los Angeles to Dallas
- Digital Realty from San Francisco to Austin, Texas
- Oracle from Silicon Valley to Austin, Texas
- Hewlett-Packard Enterprise from San Francisco to Houston
- Norfolk Southern from Norfolk to Atlanta
Population growth data identifies the winners and losers
There are really two ways to analyze the data. The first option is to evaluate the net new population growth and the other is to analyze the percentage growth.
Top 25 Fastest Growing Metro Areas Overall Population Increase (2019-2022)
Top 25 Fastest Growing Metro Areas Percentage Population Growth (2019-2022)
Top 25 Declining Metro Areas Overall Population Decrease (2019-2022)