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South Florida’s population is growing. It’s no thanks to U.S. residents

What you need to know about the 2020 Census

The next U.S. census is on April 1, 2020. This year's census is particularly controversial because of one question: 'are you a U.S. citizen?'
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The next U.S. census is on April 1, 2020. This year's census is particularly controversial because of one question: 'are you a U.S. citizen?'

The Miami metro area gains about 94 new residents each day.

But according to new data compiled by Bloomberg, any new arrival to Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties is likely coming from abroad, not from elsewhere within the U.S. The data reflect U.S. Census Bureau calculations for the period from July 2017 to July 2018.

The data show that on net, South Florida lost about 58,000 U.S. residents to other parts of the country in 2018. Only New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles lost more.

However, those losses were more than outweighed by the influx of foreign-born residents entering South Florida. Here, the Miami area nearly led the nation, welcoming approximately 93,000 new immigrants, just behind New York City’s 98,000.

Bloomberg said there were two reasons major metros are seeing domestic population losses: increasingly pricey real estate and changes to tax laws.

Miami-Dade has been particularly affected by high real estate prices, as outlined by the Miami Herald’s “Priced Out of Paradise” series.

“Some areas are affected by high home prices and local taxes, which are pushing residents out and deterring potential movers from other parts of the country,” Bloomberg said.

For South Florida, changes to state and local tax write-off statutes have been a boon, driving New Yorkers outward — and, according to the data, the Miami area took in approximately 14,000 of them during the period.

Yet even as South Florida drew new residents from the New York area, more locals left the area. The data show they are moving to places like Orlando, Port St. Lucie, Tampa — or in many cases, areas that are too small to merit metropolitan-area status.

Maria Ilcheva, professor at Florida International University’s Pérez Metropolitan Center, said it appears major U.S. cities are increasingly priced for a globally mobile population, creating a situation where only the very top slices of income groups — and the very bottom that service them — can live.

“The middle is being displaced,” she said.

She also noted that depending on foreign immigrants to bolster the population could be a short-term solution. While cities like New York and Miami may continue to serve as gateway cities that welcome populations from abroad, some immigrant residents may move elsewhere in the country once they become assimilated.

Steven Pedigo, director of the Creative Class Group and an expert on economic development, said South Florida finds itself in an in-between state: first-tier when it comes to overall population figures, but middle-tier when it comes to stable economic opportunities. Especially for graduates with advanced degrees, he said, jobs may be more plentiful elsewhere.

“[South Florida’s economy] is becoming more knowledge-based, but it’s still behind its peers,” he said.

Most overall growth

Here are the 10 metros that saw the greatest overall population growth between July 2017 and July 2018, according to Bloomberg (Florida locations in bold):

1) Dallas: 78,000

2) Phoenix: 73,000

3) Tampa: 52,000

4) Orlando: 50,000

5) Atlanta: 43,000

6) Las Vegas: 38,000

7) Austin: 37,000

8) Houston: 35,000

9) Miami: 34,000

10) Seattle: 34,000

Most U.S. residents gained

Those that gained the most U.S. residents, on net:

1) Phoenix: 62,000

2) Dallas: 46,000

3) Las Vegas: 35,000

4) Tampa: 35,000

5) Austin: 29,000

6) Charlotte: 26,000

7) Atlanta: 26,000

8) San Antonio: 23,000

9) Riverside, California: 21,000

10) Jacksonville: 20,000

Most U.S. residents lost

Those that lost the most U.S. residents, on net:

1) New York: -199,000

2) Los Angeles: -119,000

3) Chicago: -84,000

4) Miami: -58,000

5) Washington, D.C.: -31,000

6) San Francisco: -25,000

7) San Jose: -24,000

8) Boston: -22,000

9) Detroit: -15,000

10) Urban Honolulu: -13,000

Most immigrants gained

Finally, those that gained the most immigrants, on net:

1) New York: 98,000

2) Miami: 93,000

3) Los Angeles: 45,000

4) Houston: 45,000

5) Boston: 40,000

6) Washington, D.C.: 40,000

7) Orlando: 33,000

8) Dallas: 31,000

9) San Francisco: 26,000

10) Seattle: 26,000

The 325 million people in the United States live in two very different areas: Big-county America and small-county America.

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