Net Migration and Population Change

2022-2023

The Indianapolis metropolitan area’s net migration (10,861) ranked 3rd among Accelerate Indy (AI) peer metros. The top ranked AI peer was Charlotte (40,670) and the lowest ranked AI peer was Denver (6,913).

The Indianapolis metro’s net migration ranked #1 among Midwest metropolitan areas, besting Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and St. Louis. Five of the ten metros in this cohort lost population, including Chicago at -16,000. Among non-AI non-Midwest peers, Indianapolis landed in the middle, with five metros placing higher and five ranking lower. New York, Miami, and Los Angeles saw the largest international migration volume, with New York welcoming nearly 105,000 foreign immigrants.

Of the 387 US metro areas, Indianapolis ranked 23rd in total population change (17,807), but it saw the lowest population growth of the AI peers. Among non-AI non-Midwest peers, Atlanta, Austin, Phoenix, Raleigh, and San Antonio ranked higher than Indianapolis, adding between 29,000 and 69,000 residents each. The Dallas and Houston metros saw the largest population growth, with 152,598 and 139,789 respectively.

Whereas the US rate was 69%, 61% of Indianapolis’ population growth can be attributed to domestic and international migration compared to natural increase (births & deaths), which is the 3rd highest rate among AI peers. Charlotte and Nashville exceed the US average migration vs natural increase at 80% and 76% respectively.

2020-2023

The Indianapolis metro’s net migration (32,362) ranked 3rd among AI peer metros, behind Charlotte and Nashville, continuing the trend established between 2010-2020, when Indianapolis was also ranked 3rd after Charlotte and Nashville. The top ranked AI peer was Charlotte with net migration of 118,382 and an overall ranking of 9; the lowest ranked AI peer was Denver with net migration of 6,024 and an overall ranking of 121.

The Indianapolis metro’s net migration ranked first among Midwest metropolitan areas, as it did between 2010 and 2020, outperforming nine major metros in Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Indianapolis fell in the middle of the pack among non-AI non-Midwest peers. Five of the ten peers ranked higher than Indianapolis and five ranked lower, including Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City, and San Jose, which all saw negative net migration. New York, Miami, and Houston experienced the largest international migration volume, with New York accepting over 242,000 foreign immigrants.

Indianapolis ranked 24th in total population change (48,832) of all US metropolitan areas and was ranked 3rd among AI peers, behind Charlotte and Nashville. Among non-AI non-Midwest peers, Atlanta, Austin, Phoenix, Raleigh, San Antonio, and Boise ranked higher than Indianapolis, adding between 59,000 and 219,000 residents each. Chicago has lost 187,000 residents so far this decade. The Dallas and Houston metros saw the largest population growth, with 462,639 and 360,649 respectively. From 2010-2020, Indianapolis ranked 28th in net population change, placing last among AI peers, but 2nd in the Midwest behind Minneapolis.

Whereas the US rate was 74%, 66% of Indianapolis’ population growth can be attributed to domestic and international migration compared to natural increase (births & deaths), which was the highest rate among major Midwest metros. Charlotte and Nashville exceeded the US average migration vs natural increase. Outside the Midwest, Phoenix and Boise registered much higher migration vs natural increase ratios than the US and Indy’s other peers, with Phoenix attributing 87% of their population growth to net migration and Boise attributing nearly 90% of their population growth to domestic and international migration.

Data Source: US Census Bureau

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