AZ Snapshot: Regional Migration

Posted on August 24, 2016 • Category: Economy


The number of people who moved to the West from other states between 2014 and 2015. If the population shift continues, Texas could gain three new seats in the U.S. House, Florida two and Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina and Oregon one each after the next census.

Americans are Moving South, West Again

The Pew Charitable Trusts, January 8, 2016


Americans are once again on the move – and migrating to the Sun Belt. This fact presents opportunities in terms of a growing workforce, tax base and active housing market. It also brings challenges: how to provide the infrastructure and public services that people need to thrive, and how to maintain the state’s unique environment and quality of life.


When the economy is good, Americans are willing to move – typically, to the South or West. Regional migration increased significantly between 2014 and 2015 after the slowdown caused by the great recession.

  • In 2009, the Gallup Arizona Poll found that 20% of Arizonans would like to move to another city and state; 16% were likely to move out of state within the next 12 months.
  • In 2015, a higher percentage of Arizonans wanted to move (30.6%) but fewer indicated they are likely to do so in the next year.

When people find what they want, they stay. If not, sooner or later, they move on. In- and out- regional migration has become an integral part of the Arizona culture.



Recent Gallup surveys on regional migration include:


Would you like to move permanently to another state or would you prefer to continue living in this state? - Like to Move



Of the 30.6% of Arizonans who would like to move, to which state would you like to move? - Top 5



What is the main reason 8.4% of Arizonans are planning or likely to move in the next 12 months?




The Center is committed to advancing the goals of Arizona citizens and a key part of achieving their goals is celebrating the success stories that characterize our state.

This week, AZ Spotlight features stories about regional migration and relocation.

Making Relocation Easy
When a company relocates from one state to another, there’s more to the story than just dollars and cents. Sun Corridor Inc., an economic development organization for southern Arizona, has developed a "soft landing" program.

Center for the Future of Arizona, July 27, 2016

Carlisle Companies Relocates to Phoenix
Phoenix was able to recruit the $3.5 million company from North Carolina thanks to a collaborative effort between Governor Doug Ducey, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority.

Center for the Future of Arizona, July 25, 2016

ZipRecruiter Expands to Tempe
A hiring platform for small to medium-sized companies, ZipRecruiter is expanding its operations to Tempe from its home base in Santa Monica. The new office will assist job seekers and employers across the country to place the right people in the right positions.

Center for the Future of Arizona, May 25, 2016

5th Phoenix will likely become the nation's fifth most populous city when next year's Census estimates are released.
Highlights from New Census Population Estimates  

Governing the States and Localities, May 19, 2016


9.3% Arizona's net migration rate per 1K between 2014 and 2015.
State Migration Rates, Net Totals: 2010-2015  

Governing the States and Localities, 2016