The 20 US cities everyone is moving away from

Denis Tangney Jr/Getty ImagesMany more people have moved out of Flint, Michigan, than have moved in since 2010.
  • Many US cities have seen a drain on their population from people moving away.
  • Using data from the US Census Bureau, we found the 20 metro areas with the most negative net migration between 2010 and 2018, adjusted by the size of the 2010 population.
  • The cities are scattered across the country, ranging from Arizona to Alaska and Michigan.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

While many cities in the South had a lot more people move in than leave over the last decade, other parts of the country have been less lucky.

Using data from the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates program, we found the US metropolitan areas with the most negative net migration between 2010 and 2018, adjusted by the size of the 2010 metro area population.

Net migration measures the number of people who moved into the metro area from some other part of the US or another country, minus the number of people who left the metro area over that period. That means the cities on our list saw many more people move out since 2010 than move in.

Read more: The 20 US cities where everyone’s moving to – and they’re nearly all in Florida

While these cities saw big hits to their population from people moving out, many had much lower levels of overall population loss, and a few actually saw their populations increase between 2010 and 2018. Those offsetting increases came from the other main source of population change: natural change, or net births minus deaths. While many people left these cities, plenty of those who stayed kept having kids.


20. Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas, had a net population loss from migration of 20,487 between 2010 and 2018 — 5.0% of the metro’s 2010 population of 406,220.


19. Charleston, West Virginia, had a net population loss from migration of 12,194 between 2010 and 2018 — 5.4% of the metro’s 2010 population of 277,078.

Joe Sohm / Visions of America / Universal Images Group / GettyGovernor’s mansion in Charleston, WV, State Capitol

18. Saginaw, Michigan, had a net population loss from migration of 10,863 between 2010 and 2018 — 5.4% of the metro’s 2010 population of 200,169.


17. Flint, Michigan, had a net population loss from migration of 23,255 between 2010 and 2018 — 5.5% of the metro’s 2010 population of 425,790.

Denis Tangney Jr/Getty Images

16. Johnstown, Pennsylvania, had a net population loss from migration of 7,980 between 2010 and 2018 — 5.6% of the metro’s 2010 population of 143,679.

Shutterstock

15. El Centro, California, had a net population loss from migration of 9,701 between 2010 and 2018 — 5.6% of the metro’s 2010 population of 174,528.

Cbl62/Wikimedia Commons

14. Elmira, New York, had a net population loss from migration of 4,950 between 2010 and 2018 — 5.6% of the metro’s 2010 population of 88,830.

Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesA street stands empty in the afternoon on April 11, 2019 in Elmira, New York.

13. Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona, had a net population loss from migration of 7,484 between 2010 and 2018 — 5.7% of the metro’s 2010 population of 131,346.

Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images

12. Rockford, Illinois, had a net population loss from migration of 20,375 between 2010 and 2018 — 5.8% of the metro’s 2010 population of 349,431.


11. Albany, Georgia, had a net population loss from migration of 9,674 between 2010 and 2018 — 6.1% of the metro’s 2010 population of 157,308.


10. Vineland-Bridgeton, New Jersey, had a net population loss from migration of 10,118 between 2010 and 2018 — 6.4% of the metro’s 2010 population of 156,898.

Wikimedia Commons

9. Decatur, Illinois, had a net population loss from migration of 7,220 between 2010 and 2018 — 6.5% of the metro’s 2010 population of 110,768.

Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group/Getty ImagesEast Prairie Street downtown buildings in Decatur

8. Danville, Illinois, had a net population loss from migration of 5,455 between 2010 and 2018 — 6.7% of the metro’s 2010 population of 81,625.

Daniel Schwen, via Wikimedia CommonsA grain mill in Danville, IL

7. Lawton, Oklahoma, had a net population loss from migration of 11,422 between 2010 and 2018 — 8.8% of the metro’s 2010 population of 130,291.

Theresa Bragg/ShutterstockLawton.

6. Fairbanks, Alaska, had a net population loss from migration of 8,736 between 2010 and 2018 — 9.0% of the metro’s 2010 population of 97,581.


5. Farmington, New Mexico, had a net population loss from migration of 11,873 between 2010 and 2018 — 9.1% of the metro’s 2010 population of 130,044.


4. Hanford-Corcoran, California, had a net population loss from migration of 14,567 between 2010 and 2018 — 9.5% of the metro’s 2010 population of 152,982.


3. Hinesville, Georgia, had a net population loss from migration of 8,248 between 2010 and 2018 — 10.6% of the metro’s 2010 population of 77,917.


2. Pine Bluff, Arkansas, had a net population loss from migration of 11,360 between 2010 and 2018 — 11.3% of the metro’s 2010 population of 100,258.


1. Watertown-Fort Drum, New York, had a net population loss from migration of 14,329 between 2010 and 2018 — 12.3% of the metro’s 2010 population of 116,229.

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