Research Briefing | Jun 20, 2023

US migration set to return to pre-pandemic patterns

Net migration trends are poised to reverse course over the next five years compared to 2020 and 2021 as employees and residents move back to large metros and immigration recovers. This has clear linkages to jobs as most metros are forecast to see lower but positive job growth.

What you will learn:

  • Following the surge in out-migration from the leading metros in 2020 to 2021 due to the pandemic and the shift to remote work, many people have started to move back to large urban areas. We forecast that many will continue to do so through 2027.
  • Large metros saw the steepest out-migration in 2020 and 2021, especially New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, San Jose, Washington, and Boston. These metros also suffered from the drop in immigration in 2020 and 2021. We forecast a continued recovery in immigration in 2023 through 2027, benefiting the same large metros.
  • Although many Sun Belt metros reaped the largest share of in-migration in 2020 and 2021, these too will see a slowdown of in-migration this year and next.
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