Chicago was the biggest loser in net domestic migration


For all the talk of how the Great Recession has driven people — particularly the “footloose young” — toward dense urban centers, Census data reveal that Americans are still drawn to the same sprawling Sun Belt regions as before.

An analysis of domestic migration for the nation’s 51 largest metropolitan statistical areas by demographer Wendell Cox shows that the 10 metropolises with the largest net gains from 2000 through 2009 are in the Sun Belt, led by Phoenix, and followed by Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.; Atlanta; Dallas-Ft. Worth; and Las Vegas.

From July 2010 to July 2011 the biggest loser in domestic migration, when measured by the rate of net migration per 1,000 residents (-5.68), was Chicago.

The article suggests that demographic and economic conditions may accelerate the domestic movement of individuals away from Chicago and similar cities.


  • Mike 4 years

    Corrupt parking deals, red-light cameras, soon to be speed cameras (for the children), higher water bills, high property taxes, increase in the income and corporate tax, massively underfunded pensions, poor schools, increased shooting and murder rate…… can you blame them for leaving?

  • aleks 4 years

    Add one of the highest sales tax rates in the country, traffic jams everywhere, and public transportation system that does not serve half the city.

  • Ben L 4 years

    Drawing conclusions about individual cities from statistics about metropolitan areas is a hallmark of the poor scholarship Cox and Kotkin regularly produce

  • the urban politician 4 years

    From 1600-1930, tens of millions of immigrants moved from Europe to the US. Yet Europe is still doing fine.

    There is and always be a “promised” land, especially for those who come from an area in which opportunities have become saturated.

    I guess this is how society equilabrates. I really don’t think Chicago, LA, NY, or SF have anything to worry about, at least in the long term.

  • Mike 4 years

    “Yet Europe is still doing fine.”

    I bet the Greeks, Spaniards, Portuguese, Italians, and Irish would disagree with you. The French will join them quickly.

  • the urban politician 4 years

    Mike, you and I know Europe’s problems today, in 2012, have practically nothing to do with the migration of Europeans to the Americas centuries ago.

    I fact, a strong American economy would actually benefit them.

  • pedro 4 years

    Whose worse Aaron Renn or Cox/Kotkin?