How to Explore U.S. Population Movement Trends in our Latest Dashboard

October 17, 2023

Population movement trends are important pieces of real-world data that can add layers of value to your datasets and research. Studying the ways in which the population is shifting can bring valuable insights for those in real estate, city planning, or even brick-and-mortar businesses looking to expand into new markets. Since the 2020 pandemic forced major changes in consumer behavior, needs, and routines, understanding shifts in the population has become increasingly important. During the pandemic, many Americans relocated for a variety of reasons, and as consumer trends continue to shift post-pandemic, we wanted to learn more about the major population movement trends of today.

To do so, we examined the impact of various factors on population distribution trends in the U.S. This helped us learn more about where people are moving to, where they’re moving away from, and some of the possible factors impacting these moves. We’ve compiled our fascinating findings in an interactive dashboard for our readers to explore. Continue to learn more about our analyses and our Population Distribution Dashboard.

Our Methodology

This interactive dashboard is highlighted in our latest report, which analyzes how the population of the United States has shifted from Q1 2020 to Q1 2023. Our privacy-friendly and high-quality location data allowed us to determine population distribution shifts by observing mobile location signals from across the country.

We process over 60 billion mobile location signals daily, and with a robust data cleansing and preparation process, we are able to accurately interpret how the population has shifted over the last few years by county and by state. By augmenting this data with U.S. census data about local population size, income, and property prices, we can begin to understand why some areas of the country are experiencing population growth while others are experiencing population loss.

Our U.S. Population Distribution Dashboard

Our latest interactive dashboard lets you explore all the findings in our analysis in a beautifully designed and easy-to-use interface. This dashboard is viewed as two separate maps of the U.S. One is broken down by state, including all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, while the other breaks down all U.S. counties. Here are some tips to keep in mind when exploring the data on your own:

  • We examined population shifts by state and by county to help you understand these shifts on two different levels and see both detailed and overarching trends.
  • We ranked each state and each county by their growth in population. The growth rank tells you how much growth each area experienced. The state and county with the highest growth since 2020 will be ranked as number 1.
  • You can zoom in to view the maps in more detail. This is especially helpful when exploring the insights for the thousands of U.S. counties on the map.
  • We’ve included insight into the weighted average median house value and the weighted average median household income for each county in the U.S., providing further insight into why certain areas may have seen population growth.
  • Below our two interactive maps, you can view more charts detailing the top 10 gaining counties in the U.S. and the top 10 losing counties in terms of population. You can also filter the dashboard by state to explore state population changes at the county level.
  • Click on any portion of the charts to filter and highlight any area you want to analyze separately.
  • You can use the slider on the top of the dashboard to adjust the timeframe for which you are viewing the data. You can view snapshots of each quarter starting in Q1 2020. You can also use the drop-down menu to select which states to include in your chart.
  • Press the download button to save an image of your customized charts.

Explore the data on your own to identify trends, find major population shifts, and learn more about how the nation’s population is changing.

Recent Key Findings

Our interactive dashboard allows you to visualize major trends in U.S. population movement from Q1 2020 to Q2 2023. For each quarter, our dashboard displays the top gaining counties and top losing counties across the U.S., so be sure to view the data over time. You can also download our population movement report to get a broad idea of what these trends looked like in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2020.

Our latest data for Q2 of this year tells an interesting story. The state of Texas currently has a growth rank of 51, meaning that this state has actually lost the greatest amount of population since 2020. On the other hand, the state of California has a growth rank of 1, so California overall has gained the most population over the same period. Now, let’s take a look at the nation’s top gaining and losing counties as of Q2 2023.

The top gaining county for Q2 2023 was Bernalillo County, New Mexico, while the top losing county was Pennington County, South Dakota. The county of Bernalillo in New Mexico is home to the city of Albuquerque, the largest city in the state. As the economic capital of New Mexico, perhaps this area has been attracting new residents with work opportunities, its sunny weather, and its rich heritage and culture. On the other hand, Pennington County is one of South Dakota’s most populous counties, home to the world-famous memorial Mount Rushmore. Perhaps residents have been leaving the highly-populated and highly-visited areas of Pennington County for calmer areas away from the action.

One thing’s for sure: most of the top losing counties have higher house values than the top gaining counties, suggesting that housing costs continue to be a driving factor in U.S. population movement. With housing in many markets increasingly out of reach for new and first-time homebuyers, despite having good salaries, consumers are increasingly moving away from high-priced real estate centers to smaller markets where it’s still possible to find a home for less than $300,000.

The Importance of Understanding Population Shifts and Trends

Learning about these population movement patterns over time can help us better understand consumer needs, desires, and preferences. These insights can also help organizations in a variety of industries better prepare for any future population shifts.

By understanding what drives people away from certain locations and what draws them into new ones, researchers can anticipate movement patterns that may impact businesses in the future and maintain a real-world understanding of customer needs. Furthermore, insights like this can inform decisions for site selection, transportation, and even location-based marketing strategy, among many other things.

Looking for more insights? Find the Population Distribution Dashboard here.

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