Do Net Migration Figures Suggest Slower Growth?

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Denver and the surrounding metropolitan statistical area (MSA) which includes Broomfield, has been growing at an unprecedented pace but according to the apartment listing site Abodo, net migration figures reported by the Census Bureau tell a slightly different story.

Of the 50 most-populated metropolitan areas in the country, the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood MSA ranks second for the largest percentage of new residents from elsewhere in the U.S. at 9.44 percent between 2014-2015. We have of course been hearing similar statistics for months. However, according to Abodo, the same Denver-Aurora-Lakewood MSA also lost residents at 9.25 percent, resulting in a net migration of merely 0.19 percent. It should be noted that these figures do not take into account Coloradans moving from another area in the State to the MSA.

Extrapolating on this data it is unclear why these migration figures are so stark but career development as professionals “chase careers into the city, and continue to chase them out” is put forward as one theory by Abodo. What is abundantly clear is that the population of the United States is one of the most mobile in the world and Millennials drive this pattern making up 43 percent of all movers between 2007 and 2012.

With rising costs in our largest cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, mid-size MSAs such as ours currently remain attractive due to lower rents, a lower cost of living, an increasingly robust job market and in our case the unique outdoor lifestyle available in Colorado. We shouldn’t however ignore overall net migration nor underestimate the impact of our own rising costs particularly around housing.


To learn more about Broomfield’s exciting new economic development program, the Access Broomfield Economic Coalition, click here.

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