Ruth and I know 5 people who have moved from one state to another or have at least bought property in another state during the difficult past year. One of them is our son, another is my brother, a third is a friend whose husband died. The 4th is a couple who has moved to Texas where the wife grew up and has family, and the 5th is some neighbors who are buying a condo in Montana because their son is going to school there. Our state, Washington, is in the top ten for growth. For now. Our immediate neighborhood is booming because many think that the emptying of California due to increased taxes and social problems is causing rapid, local growth. It’s true that many of our new neighbors moved here from California, but not all of the newbies are arriving from Bakersfield. Our son moved from The Midwest to Colorado, and our friend now lives in Buckeye, Arizona. I got to wondering what demographically are the five fastest growing states as we enter 2021. Arizona and Texas are among the top five for now.
The 5 fastest growing states going into 2021 are Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, and Texas according to the US Census Bureau. One of the few states east of the Mississippi that is showing substantial growth is Delaware. Ruth and I talked to some locals in Scranton, PA last year, and they reported that people in their state are fleeing big cities. This could account for a lot of Delaware’s growth. it’s just south of Philly, and northern Delaware is little more than a suburb of Philadelphia now. Sixteen states are currently losing population. New York and California are among them.
When states lose population, their cities tend to suffer. Boise is booming because Idaho is among the 5 fastest growing states. But one report listed Santa Barbara as one of the fastest growing cities in America, and it’s in California. As I was finding statistics, Ruth was looking at figures that seemed to prove the opposite. Also on my list and said to be growing were Buffalo and Syracuse, both in New York State. We have heard that Kansas City, Tulsa, Louisville, and Little Rock are experiencing substantial growth. Burlington, Vermont, home to Bernie Sanders, shows a 103% growth rate. Why? Ruth was finding declines in population in Vermont. Is that because Burlington was small to begin with, or are people actually moving there from other states and big, snowy Boston?
Utah is clearly a boom state. Some of our newest neighbors are from there. Last year St. George, where other neighbors have property, was said to be the fastest growing community in the United States. However, Ruth & I talked to a Native American woman who lives near St. George recently, and she told us about losing water rights while the big money is planning to build a water park. Our newest neighbors are not Mormon, but the neighbors with property once were. It’s said that 62% of Utah’s population is Mormon. Do Mormons flowing into this state from elsewhere account for its top 5 growth? That’s doubtful.
Texas is a state with several big cities. Are people actually moving to Dallas and San Antonio? El Paso is said to be growing substantially and is on some boom lists, but we talked to a waitress in Alpine who had just moved to small Alpine from huge Houston. She was sick of the traffic and her long commute. Austin is said to be the new Silicon Valley and a hot destination for moving Americans, but situations change. I suspect that Texas has enough mid-sized cities like Odessa and Amarillo to still be attracting new residents who are fleeing big cities like Houston.
Americans are fluid and restless even in a pandemic it seems. What is true about where people want to live today might not be true next week.