Between 2019 and 2020, nearly 29 million Americans moved to new residences in the United States, of which nearly 40% moved to different counties or states. The rising cost of living in some cities is pushing residents to more affordable places. According to the US Census Bureau, while the total population of the United States has grown 1.3% over the past three years, some places with below-average cost of living have increased by more than 10%. According to Roofstock research, Phoenix is the third fastest growing major US metro with a below average cost of living.
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Geographic mobility in the United States has been declining since 2012. Between 1984 and 1985, more than 20% of Americans moved. By 2020, that figure had fallen to less than 10%. Moves of all kinds – within the same county, to another county within the same state, and to another state – are trending downward. Reasons for the decline include an aging population, high housing and moving costs and the increase in two-earner households, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. The COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily halted many moves, but the trend towards remote work could cause more residents to move locations, especially to more affordable areas.
While the total population of the United States grew by 1.3%, or roughly 4.4 million people, from 2017 to 2020, some cities and states have experienced dramatic population growth. At the state level, Idaho and Nevada had the highest rates from 2017 to 2020, at 6.2% and 5.6% respectively. Both relatively small population and affordable states, Idaho gained about 107,000 residents while Nevada gained just over 166,000 over the three-year period. On the other hand, many states with above-average cost of living, such as Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, and California, have seen their populations decline or stagnate over the same period.
To find the affordable subways with the strongest population growth in recent years, researchers at Roofstock analyzed the latest demographics from the US Census Bureau and the latest cost-of-living data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. The researchers ranked metropolitan areas based on the percentage change in population from 2017 to 2020. The researchers also calculated the total population change from 2017 to 2020 and the cost of living. To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 inhabitants have been included. In addition, locations with an above average cost of living were excluded.
The analysis found that the cost of living in metro Phoenix is 1.3% lower than the national average. Between 2017 and 2020, Phoenix’s population grew 6.3%. Of all the major affordable US subways, Phoenix has experienced the third highest population growth. Here is a summary of the data for the Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ metropolitan area:
• Percentage change of the population (2017-2020): 6.3%
• Total change in population (2017-2020): 299,192
• Population 2020: 5,059,909
• Cost of living (compared to the average): -1.3%
For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:
• Percentage change of the population (2017-2020): 1.3%
• Total change in population (2017-2020): 4 361 995
• Population 2020: 329 484 123
• Cost of living (compared to the average): N / A
For more information, a detailed methodology, and full results, you can find the original report on the Roofstock website: https://learn.roofstock.com/blog/affensible-cities-most-population-growth.