Where new millennials are coming from

March 19, 2016 – 11:21 am

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 3.55.26 PMYou’ve seen the headlines: Philly is growing. The city’s population has been increasing for the last seven years after decades of decline, with a boom in retirees, millennials and immigrants. The question arises: Where the heck are all these new people coming from?

Thanks to a tool from the good people at the U.S. Census, we can figure that out. The Census Flows Mapper tells us how many people, on average, moved to Philadelphia annually from 2008-2012 from a given location, based on American Community Survey Data. The data only provides domestic movers (FWIW, Philadelphia’s foreign-born population has increased from about 151, 000 to 185, 000 in that timeframe), so we can’t tell exactly where all the new Philadelphia residents are from, but it’s a start. So Billy Penn analyzed where these new Philadelphians are coming from, whether Philadelphia is taking more people from other big cities than it’s losing, and how many people are headed to the ‘burbs.

The great migration map

In the last few years, around 50, 000-60, 000 people have been annually moving into Philadelphia County from other domestic locations (and about 10, 000-15, 000 from abroad). Each colored-in county on this map has sent an annual average of at least one mover to Philadelphia from 2008-12. Most of the people are coming from the East Coast with a decent amount from the West. With all those blanks spaces in the middle, Philadelphia is not exactly enjoying a heavy dose of Midwest flavor.

Migration mapFor more specific numbers, here’s a Google map of the counties (plus Washington D.C. and New York City) from which Philadelphia has received 200 people or more annually from 2008-2012. Zoom in and click on a symbol for the county name and the number of people who have moved annually. Red symbols feature places from which 1, 000 or more people have moved, yellow 600 to 1, 000, light blue 300 to 600 and purple 200 to 300.

As you’ll notice by the map, most Philly movers are clustered around Philadelphia. The great majority of our new residents are former suburbanites from Montgomery (5, 265), Delaware (5, 332), Chester (1, 496), Bucks (3, 749), Camden (1, 850) and Burlington Counties (1, 148). Not surprisingly, Philadelphia is still comprised largely of Pennsylvanians and people hailing from nearby.

But the city is getting many move-ins from around the country. In 2012, according to Census Data, Philadelphia’s population of people not born in Pennsylvania but born in the United States was about 263, 000, compared to about 244, 000 in 2000. This mapping tool does not provide for an age function so you can tell the age ranges of people coming from exact locations, but here’s why we can tell most of them are young. According to Census data, the median age of people moving to Philadelphia in 2012 who had lived in a different state the previous year was 24.8 (for people moving to Philadelphia from another county in Pennsylvania, the median age was 24.3). Here are the top 10 “cosmopolitan” places from which Philadelphia is attracting people (places that are not suburbs, not in Pennsylvania and not in New Jersey).

Source: billypenn.com

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