Saturday, March 29th, 2008
The Census Bureau recently released its 2007 county-level population estimates as well as its metro area population estimates. These intra-Census estimates have become increasingly controversial as cities who are showing declines increasingly challenge the estimates produced. We’ll see what happens this year. The Census Bureau seems to have mostly gone along with challenges. I can’t really blame them. Why take heat when these estimates are low-stakes anyway? 2010 is coming soon, and if the Census shows that the original estimates were right, the Census Bureau can start taking a harder stand.
The United States as a whole gained 1% last year. Raleigh, NC was the fastest growing metro area last year, with a pace of 4.7%. Looking at Midwest large metro growth, we see the same pattern continuing as last year. Here are the one million plus metros ranked by annual population percentage growth, with their national ranking among all metros with more than one million people as well.
- Indianapolis – 1.5% (#19 tie)
- Kansas City – 1.2% (#24)
- Minneapolis – 1.1% (#25 tie)
- Columbus – 1.1% (#25 tie)
- Louisville – 1.1% (#25 tie)
- Chicago – 0.7% (#32 tie)
- Cincinnati – 0.6% (#35)
- St. Louis – 0.4% (#36 tie)
- Milwaukee – 0.3% (#38 tie)
- Cleveland – (0.4%) (#49)
- Detroit – (0.5%) (#51)
Note that there are 51 metros over one million in population.
Indianapolis, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Columbus remain as growth champs, exceeding the national average and registering healthy if not stellar growth. Louisville joins them, which is an uptick in its trend. There’s a noticeable drop off after this group. And of course Cleveland and Detroit continue to struggle.
Interestingly, Indianapolis grew faster than some surprising cities, including Seattle, Tampa, San Francisco, San Diego, and Miami. It wasn’t even that far off from vaunted Portland (1.9%). But none of the Midwest cities matched up to the likes of Charlotte (4.2%), Phoenix (3.3%), Atlanta (2.9%), or Nashville (2.3%)
Here are the rankings by absolute population change. Note that the top absolute growth metro nationally was Dallas at 162,250.
- Chicago – 66,231 (#7)
- Minneapolis – 36,200 (#18)
- Indianapolis – 24,705 (#26)
- Kansas City – 23,745 (#27)
- Columbus – 19,774 (#30)
- Louisville – 13,311 (#35)
- Cincinnati – 12,550 (#36)
- St. Louis – 9,987 (#37)
- Milwaukee – 3,873 (#42)
- Cleveland – (8,848) (#50)
- Detroit – (27,314) (#51)
Another interesting view is by component of population change. There are two components: natural increase or decrease (births minus deaths) and net migration (people moving in minus people moving out). Migration can be domestic or international. Positive overall population growth can sometimes mask the fact that people are actually moving away faster than they are moving in. Here are the same metros by net migration, ranked by total absolute net migration with international and domestic migration in parentheses respectively. (Sorry, I am too lazy today to HTML-ize this as a table).
- Indianapolis – 11,350 (2,758; 8,592)
- Kansas City – 8,808 (3,852; 4,956)
- Louisville – 8,052 (1,554; 6,493)
- Minneapolis – 7,493 (9,689; -2,196)
- Columbus – 6,458 (4,035; 2,450)
- Cincinnati – 511 (2,316; -1,805)
- Milwaukee – (5,094) (3,107; -8,201)
- St. Louis (2,998) (3,560; -6,558)
- Chicago – (6,028) (51,257; -57,285)
- Cleveland – (13,597) (3,324; -16,903)
- Detroit – (45,848) (12,169; -58,017)
Only four cities in the Midwest have positive domestic in-migration. Again, Louisville makes a strong showing. I was really shocked to see Minneapolis has domestic net outmigration. Given that it has been high growth and viewed as one of the most successful Midwest cities, it is surprising to me to see that. Also, note that while Chicago had extremely large absolute growth, it had domestic outmigration comparable to Detroit and only strong international migration kept it from having an even worse total showing.
When it comes to changes in population, the following cities did better than last year, adding more people or losing fewer people:
- Kansas City
Of course that means the following did worse than last year:
- St. Louis
Failing to keep up with the previous year’s pace was one troubling sign for Indy. Cleveland put in a much better showing, despite continuing to lose people.
And finally, here are the metros ranked by July 1, 2007 population:
- Chicago – 9,524,673 (#3)
- Detroit – 4,467,592 (#11)
- Minneapolis – 3,208,212 (#16)
- St. Louis – 2,803,707 (#18)
- Cincinnati – 2,133,678 (#24)
- Cleveland – 2,096,471 (#25)
- Kansas City – 1,985,429 (#29)
- Columbus – 1,754,337 (#32)
- Indianapolis – 1,695,037 (#33)
- Milwaukee – 1,544,398 (#38)
- Louisville – 1,233,735 (#42)
Note that Cincinnati is now bigger than Cleveland from an MSA perspective. However, a large county immediately adjacent to Cuyahoga County (Cleveland’s core county) is considered a separate MSA, which hurts that city’s figures.
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