National Association of Counties
Washington, D.C.

Moving In: Ariz., Calif. Counties Most Popular

More than 17 million people out of the 48.1 million people who moved, according to recently released Census data, relocated to a different county.

The data was collected over a five-year period from the American Community Survey which asks respondents where they lived one year prior to the survey. The first release of this information at the county level since the 2000 census covers the five-year period from 2005 to 2009.  

The results show county inflows, which are the number of people living in a given county who lived in another county one year earlier. Outflows, on the other hand, represent the number of people who lived in a particular county one year earlier who subsequently moved to another county.

Maricopa County, Ariz. had the largest number of inflows of people for any county in the nation with people moving there from 993 different counties. The highest number of people moving into Maricopa County  moved from Pinal County, Ariz. (13,452 people); Los Angeles County (12,403); Pima County, Ariz. (7,349); San Diego County (6,693); and Coconino County, Ariz. (3,994).

Rounding out the top 10 for largest number of inflows include Harris County, Texas; San Diego County, Calif.; Los Angeles County, Calif.; Cook County, Ill.; Bexar County, Texas; Clark County, Nev.; Tarrant County, Texas; Richland County, S.C. and Dallas County, Texas.

In addition, Maricopa County led the nation in residents moving to other counties with a total of 1,156 other counties. Individuals leaving Maricopa were more dispersed throughout the country than individuals leaving any other county. The top places for people from Maricopa County to move to were Pinal County (21,974), Pima County (8,464), San Diego County (4,156), Los Angeles County (3,813) and Coconino County (3,188).

Rounding out the top 10 for largest number of outflows are Los Angeles County, Calif.; Cook County, Ill.; San Diego County, Calif.; Harris County, Texas; Clark County, Nev.; Dallas County, Texas; Hillsborough County,  Fla.; Tarrant County, Texas; and Orange County, Fla. Except for Cook County, Ill., most of the origin counties are in the West and in Florida.

The top five most common county-to-county moves were from Los Angeles County to San Bernardino County, Calif. (48,456), Los Angeles County to Orange County, Calif. (41,612), Los Angeles County to Riverside County, Calif. (29,710), Orange County, Calif., to Los Angeles County (29,345); and Miami-Dade County to Broward County, Fla. (27,010).

As seen by these county-to-county moves, Los Angeles was a popular place for both inflows and outflows. In fact, Los Angeles County had both the highest number of people entering from another county as well as the highest number leaving for another county. The county experienced a net loss in population of about 160,000 people due to these moves. 

Rounding out the top 10 destinations in total movers are Maricopa County, Ariz. (193,227), Texas Harris County, Texas (176,865), Cook County, Ill. (142,089), San Diego County, Calif. (141,805), Riverside County, Calif. (131,483), Dallas County, Texas (120,086), San Bernardino County, Calif. (118,089), Orange County, Calif. (115,174) and King County, Wash. (104,353).

Some small counties saw very few people move out of the county. The counties with the smallest number of people moving out of the county include Terrell County, Texas; Arthur County, Neb.; Hayes County, Neb.; Borden County, Texas; Billings County, N.D.; Blaine County, Neb.; Grant County, Neb.; Slope County, N.D.; and Loving County, Texas.

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