For decades, Americans looking to retire or to get a fresh start have fueled massive population growth in South Florida. But that long-standing trend might be coming to an end, according to new Census estimates analyzed by university researchers in Miami. And sky-high housing costs are likely to blame.
That doesn’t mean growth for the sprawling region is stalling. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach megalopolis has been one of the 10 fastest-growing metro areas in the country by sheer numbers since the last full Census in 2010, outstripping the Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Phoenix metro growth machines, said Florida International University researchers who crunched population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
But what’s shifted dramatically is the source of South Florida’s population growth over that period, said Maria Ilcheva, senior researcher at FIU’s Metropolitan Center.
South Florida has seen a complete reversal in what demographers call net domestic migration since about 2013, an infographic prepared by the Metropolitan Center shows.
In the past, more people moved to the region from elsewhere in America than moved out. Now, the opposite is true.
Today, far more people are moving out of South Florida than moving in from other parts of the country, and by margins that are growing every year, the analysis shows. Net domestic migration has plummeted by a startling 2,670 percent since 2010 — and that number is not a typo, Ilcheva stressed.
Miami-Dade County accounts for much of that drop, Ilcheva’s numbers show. Since 2010, the county has seen a net outflow of 106,591 residents to other parts of the country.