People Are Flocking to Panama City-Panama City Beach, FL

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At least 27 million Americans have relocated each year since government record keeping began in 1948. The reasons any one person or family may decide to move are often personal. These include being closer to relatives, starting a new relationship, or needing a larger home.

However, many parts of the country offer advantages with more universal appeal, and some of these places have seen a population boom in the past year.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program, people are flocking to the Panama City-Panama City Beach metro area in Florida. Between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, the number of people who moved to the area outnumbered those who moved out by about 6,450.

The 3.2% annual population growth due to net migration alone – not including births and deaths – ranks as the 13th largest increase of all 387 metropolitan areas in the United States.

All data used in this story was aggregated from the county level to the metropolitan level using metropolitan statistical area definitions for July 2023 from the Census Bureau.

RankMetro areaPop. increase from net migration, July 2021 to June 2022 (%)Pop. increase from net migration, July 2021 to June 20221Wildwood-The Villages, FL8.7%11,6802Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC4.9%18,1003Punta Gorda, FL4.9%9,5204Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL4.2%31,9605Homosassa Springs, FL4.1%6,5506Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL4.1%32,4207North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL3.9%33,9008Wilmington, NC3.7%16,2409Ocala, FL3.6%14,03010Port St. Lucie, FL3.5%17,78011Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL3.4%23,20012Sebring, FL3.4%3,46013Panama City-Panama City Beach, FL3.2%6,45014Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL3.0%7,30015Naples-Marco Island, FL3.0%11,54016St. George, UT2.9%5,64017Sebastian-Vero Beach-West Vero Corridor, FL2.9%4,78018Spartanburg, SC2.9%10,47019Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ2.8%6,14020Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL2.7%16,46021Lansing-East Lansing, MI2.6%12,03022Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Port Royal, SC2.6%5,79023Sherman-Denison, TX2.6%3,62024Pinehurst-Southern Pines, NC2.6%2,65025Prescott Valley-Prescott, AZ2.5%5,990

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