The USA’s recession-hit Sun Belt continues to thaw out, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau show, with Americans moving once more to places like Tampa, Dallas, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Atlanta.
At the same time, big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Chicago are watching their overall population growth slow, even as they attract more immigrants than smaller towns and cities. A few cities, such as Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Youngstown, Ohio, have seen mostly losses for the past 15 years.
“I think the employment opportunities in the Sun Belt are coming around again,” saidBrookings Institution demographer William Frey, who closely follows the phenomenon.
Frey analyzed three years of Census data and found that Sun Belt cities, which took a serious hit from the mortgage crisis and recession, were among the fastest growing in the nation in 2015.
While overall rates of people moving from one area to another remain down from pre-recession levels, Frey noted, Americans are moving at higher rates in several geographic regions, a big change from just two years ago.
“It seems like the beginning of a longer-term trend,” he said.
Among the fastest growing metro areas from 2013 to 2015:
- Houston, which grew by nearly 471,000
- Dallas-Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas, which grew by more than 393,000
- Atlanta, Sandy Springs and Roswell, Ga., which grew by more than 255,000
- Phoenix, Mesa and Scottsdale, Ariz., which grew by nearly 247,000