How America has changed: 225 years of statistics
Miami-Dade was among the top population gainers in the U.S. this past decade, new Census data show — mostly thanks to immigrants.
A word of caution: The growth — which fuels real estate, property taxes and other economic drivers — is in danger of reversing.
Between 2010 and 2018, the data show, Miami-Dade’s population increased by more than 260,000 residents, or about 10.5 percent, to approximately 2,761,581. Miami-Dade held on to its spot as the 7th-largest county in the U.S. behind Los Angeles County (9.8 million); Chicago/Cook County, Ill. (5.2 million); Houston/Harris County, Texas (4.7 million); Phoenix/Maricopa County, Ariz. (4.4 million); San Diego County, Calif. (3.3 million); Santa Ana/Orange County, Calif. (3.2 million). Rounding out the top 10 are Dallas County, Texas (2.6 million); Brooklyn/Kings County (2.6 million), N.Y.; and Riverside County, Calif., outside Los Angeles (2.5 million).
Between July 2017 and July 2018, Miami-Dade’s population grew a total of 16,703 — the second-lowest increase since 2011.
Over the same period, Broward’s population grew a total of 16,789 — the lowest increase since 2011.
While 378,121 new residents have moved in from abroad since 2010, another 215,712 have moved out of Miami-Dade to other parts of the U.S.. A total of 100,048 births brought the total increase for the decade to approximately 260,000. Since 2012, the county has seen more people moving out to other parts of the country than in.
And in most years, the number has grown over the previous year. In 2018, the number of people leaving the county hit a seven-year high of 51,671, following 47,871 in 2018 and 30,560 in 2016.
Where is everyone going? The latest data do not say, but until recently, the answer seemed to be Broward. Broward has grown by approximately 203,114 residents since 2010 to approximately 1,951,260. Historical data show Broward is usually the top recipient of Miami-Dade movers.
But for the past two years, Broward also has begun losing residents to other parts of the U.S. In 2018, it lost approximately 10,337 residents to other parts of the U.S., following a 5,858 loss in 2017.
Dr. Maria Ilcheva, Assistant Director of Planning and Operations at FIU’s Metropolitan Center, says the reason so many people are moving out of town is simple: South Florida is becoming too expensive for them.
“The biggest thing for us is housing and income levels, and those are related,” she said. “Housing is becoming more expensive, while earnings are stagnant. Our region from that perspective is becoming less attractive, and those two elements are becoming a major reason for why people are moving out.”
Until now, Miami-Dade and Broward have been able to rely on international migration to counterbalance the exodus. While the number of people moving here from outside the country is growing, the number leaving for other parts of the U.S. is growing even faster.
As a result, Miami-Dade total population grew by just 0.61 percent in 2018, compared with nearly 3 percent in 2011. Broward’s peak for the decade also came in 2011 at 2 percent; last year, it’s total population grew by only 0.87 percent.
Ilcheva said if these trends continue, the overall population of both counties could start shrinking in the next few years.
“Few locals can compete with international buyers, and as a result of that, and the fact wages can’t support the rising cost of living, people are leaving in search of better housing,” she said.