The population is shifting to the South. Between 2010 and 2013, 51 percent of the population increase in 52 major metro nationwide was in the South, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
In comparison, the West accounted for 30 percent of the increase, followed by the Northeast at 11 percent and the North Central (Midwest) area at 8 percent.
What’s more, the Census Bureau data shows that nearly 785,000 more people moved to major metro areas in the South than moved away. That’s far more than the 170,000 domestic migrants who moved to major metro areas in the West. On the other hand, the Northeast lost 485,000 net domestic migrants while the Midwest lost 280,000.
The largest growth in domestic migration was to Texas. The Census data showed the following metros as having the largest domestic migration growth between 2010 and 2013:
As for population growth, the New York metro area retains its top position in the U.S. with 19,950,000 residents, according to Census data. Los Angeles (13,131,431) and Chicago (9,537,289) retain their second and third positions, but two Texas cities have crept into the top five. Dallas-Fort Worth (6,810,913) overtook Philadelphia (6,034,678) to become the fourth largest metro area, and Houston (6,313,158) ranks number five.
The National Conference of Mayors forecasts strong growth for Dallas-Forth Worth and Houston over the next 30 years and predicts that the metro areas could pass Chicago by 2050 in population growth.