Every year, over 43 million people relocate, whether across town or across the country. Since employment is one of the top three reasons to move (behind family or the simple need for new housing), it should come as no surprise that areas with slumping economies often experience a high turnover, while economically booming cities are likely to see a high influx of new residents. Washington, D.C, falls squarely into the latter category.
As the seat of our government, the D.C. metro area has always been a bustling metropolis. Recent economic projections, however, predict even more growth and expansion in the next 30 years. The area is expected to increase employment by nearly 43%, or almost 1.4 million new jobs, by the year 2040. A simultaneous cause and effect of this employment hike is the addition of 1.6 million new residents to the D.C. area, which amounts to a 32% bump in population.
But where are all these new people coming from? Here are the top five points of departure (based on percentage) for D.C.-bound relocators.
- Huntington Beach, California. The economic pull of the D.C.-metro area must be mighty indeed to pull people away from sunny Huntington Beach, but the numbers don’t lie. This Los Angeles suburb boasts a higher percentage of incoming D.C. residents than anywhere else in the country.
- Denver, Colorado. From the height of the Rockies to the foundation of our government, Denver emigrants claim the #2 spot for D.C. movers.
- Tampa, Florida. The first of two entrees from the Sunshine State, Tampa sends the third largest percentage of its citizens to Washington, D.C.
- Phoenix, Arizona. This dry, desert city grabs the #4 position, as many of its citizens trade proximity with the Grand Canyon for proximity to Capitol Hill.
- Orlando, Florida. Rounding out the top five is another Florida city, Orlando, where not even the lure of great golfing and Disneyland can keep a significant portion of its population from seeking their fortune in our nation’s capitol.
However, the hustle and bustle of capitol life is not for everyone, and like every metro area, Washington, D.C., also sees its fair share of departures. And while the average winter temperatures don’t normally drop below 30 degrees (thanks to D.C.’s proximity to the coast) and annual snowfall is rarely above 24 inches, the months from October to March can be a predominantly grey and cloudy time, prompting some to seek out warmer climes.
Here are the top five destinations (contained in just two states) for those leaving the D.C. metro area, beginning with a surprising overlap.
- Orlando, Florida. This Florida city graces both top-five lists, and is, in fact, ranked #4 nationally of the Top Ten Moving Destinations of 2013 (according to CBS News).
- Tampa, Florida. And in the #2 slot we find another familiar face, beautiful Tampa. These two Florida cities see the highest percentages of D.C. emigrants of anywhere else in the country.
- Dallas, Texas. This bustling Texas town is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area, which between 2011 and 2012 saw more of a population boom than any other area in the country.
- Houston, Texas. Yet another entry from the Lone Star state, Houston is the largest city in Texas, the fourth largest in the nation, and the fourth most popular moving destination for former Washington, D.C., residents.
- Austin, Texas. Rounding out the Texas trio, we find Austin in the #5 spot, with its thriving arts scene and beautiful Texas weather.
While a variety of factors come into play when tracing population shifts, some general trends can be extrapolated. Younger professionals will gravitate towards thriving job markets, while retirees will seek out warm, comfortable climates. Luckily, in a country as large and diverse as the United States, you can always find the right city for your needs.