Source: Atlanta Regional Commission Regional Snapshot for February 2012
Most moves are local. This is according to an analysis of data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that finds more than half of people moving into one of the 20 counties that comprise the Atlanta Regional Commission’s planning area, moved from one of the other 20 counties. It also shows how inter-related the individual counties are within the region. Upcoming Snapshots will show that this is particularly true for work flows and travel patterns.
This Snapshot presents data from the IRS concerning migration patterns from 2000 to 2009, the latest period for which this data is available. The IRS tracks movement between counties in the U.S. based on tax filings – if an address is in a different county from one year to the next, filers and their dependents are considered migrants. There are limitations to these data: The technique captures only those who file returns, so it misses a disproportionate number of seniors, the very low income and new arrivals from different countries who have never filed a U.S. tax return before. Therefore, this analysis explores only domestic migration.
More than half of those moving into one of the 20 counties between 2000 and 2009 came from one of the other 20 counties. In all cases, the most popular “origin” county (where moved from) was adjacent to the “destination” county (where moved to). This shows that the majority of moves are to nearby locales.
While 36 percent of those moving into the 20-county area came from a different state, only 31 percent of those moving out of the Atlanta region went to a different state. This shows that the Atlanta region is a net attractor of people nationwide, especially from the Northeast.
Migrants from New York, Florida and California Choose Atlanta
Table 3 shows net migration between the top 10 states (“top” meaning most net migration into the Atlanta area) and the 20 area counties. Between 2000 and 2009, the top “origin” state – where people are moving from – was New York. More than 60,247 more people moved from New York to the 20-counties than vice versa. This is also true of Florida (+55,500), California (+25,800) and New Jersey (+22,700).
Gwinnett attracted more than 63,200 new residents from different states between 2000 and 2009, including 17,800 from New York alone, tops in the region. Next are Fulton (+61,800) Cobb (+45,800), and DeKalb (+32,500).
The 20-county region sees a net outflow of people to very few states. Colorado leads the way with net outflow of more than 1,300 people between 2000 and 2009. Other states include Maine (-500) Arizona (-475) and Nevada (-350). Washington D.C. attracted a net outflow of 540 former Atlanta residents between 2000 and 2009.
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency for the 10-county area including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties, as well as the City of Atlanta. For 60 years, ARC and its predecessor agencies have helped to focus the region’s leadership, attention and resources on key issues of regional consequence.