Study: Virginia Beach, Norfolk rank highest on list of US areas people leave, move to most

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(King Neptune statue at the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach, VA, photo by Judah Taylor)

King Neptune statue at the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach. (Photo by Judah Taylor/Southside Daily)

The Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metro area ranks highest on lists of cities people are leaving the most and moving to the fastest, according to data collected by the internet apartment-finding tool Abodo.

The study says it’s because of colleges and vacation homes in the area, but does not mention the military’s presence in the region.

The study published this week showed that one in 10 people left the area, which also includes parts of North Carolina, between 2014 and 2015.  The local population percentage leaving Hampton Roads ranked the highest with 9.9 percent, sitting above cities like Denver, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and nearby Richmond.

But it also shows people are moving in just as fast as they are leaving.

Hampton Roads ranked highest for cities with the most new residents. The Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metro area netted 10.5 percent of new residents between 2014 and 2015, which is more of an increase than cities like Denver, Austin, and Oklahoma City saw.

“In the case of [the Virginia Beach metropolitan statistical area], home to a surprising 10 colleges, the population inflow and outflow could be driven by the changing student population or turnover in oceanside vacation homes,” the study states.

Ultimately, the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metro area only experienced half a percent of population change last year, according to the study. It ranks 7th on the a list of metro areas with the greatest population loss due to net migration, just below Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Memphis. Looking at the last three years, the area has seen a 1.1 percent decrease in population.

The study aimed to track American moving habits by looking at the top 50 most populous MSAs in the US, analyzing domestic migration data, too. The numbers came from the U.S. Census Bureau 2015 American Community Survey 1-year estimates and metro area populations as of July 1, 2014.

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