U.S. Domestic Migrations From 2013 to 2014

You’ve been thinking for a while that it’s getting crowded around these parts — a lot more crowded. On the freeways. On BART. Even at your hot yoga/vegan sushi takeout place.

And now, the U.S. Census Bureau confirms you’re not crazy — the Bay Area’s population is growing rapidly, largely driven by people flocking here from all over the United States.

The agency published new population numbers today that show the estimated population of our nine-county region increasing by about 100,000 between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, from 7,461,992 to 7,561,755 — or about 1.3 percent.

The fastest-growing Bay Area county, in both absolute numbers and percentage? Alameda, which saw a gain of more than 27,000 people, or about 1.75 percent. The two slowest-growing counties were Napa and Marin, with gains under 1 percent.

San Francisco, whose population continues to break its previous highs, increased from 841,138 to 852,469, or about 1.2 percent.

The Census Bureau’s report also shows that especially in the central Bay Area — the Metropolitan Statistical Area (or MSA) consisting of Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda counties — a steady influx of new migrants from across California and the United States is driving the population growth. The population increased by about 43,000 people. About two-thirds of that growth was due to new arrivals between mid-2013 and mid-2014.

In fact, the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward MSA had a higher net domestic in-migration — the difference between people arriving in the area and those moving away — than any other metro area in the state and one of the highest in the nation.

The South Bay — an MSA defined as Santa Clara and San Benito counties — saw a net domestic in-migration of more than 10,000 new arrivals. The North Bay MSAs, Santa Rosa and Vallejo-Fairfield, reported about 3,600 and 3,800 respectively.

You’re Not Crazy: The Bay Area Is Getting Way More Crowded 27 March,2015Lisa Pickoff-White

  • weegee

    I totally have been aware of this in Oakland shopping at Whole Foods and Farmer Joe’s. No matter when I go the parking lots seem full. Also, the Bay Bridge seems to be jammed at numerous off peak hours as well.

  • Jim Reilley

    For those of us who grew up & lived in the Bay Area in the 70s, 80s, even early 90s this is a sad thing. Even if you can afford the costs, the reduction in quality of life from what it was is depressing. What is worse is the new Bay Areans don’t have any knowledge of, or appreciation of Bay history & culture and most of that will be lost by future generations who care little about the institutional memory of what used to be a great region with a rich history.

  • annjohns

    I am searching for the census data that shows this growth is due to in country migration. Can someone direct me there?

  • It is a whirlpool indeed, both the influx of new people and relocation of those already in the Bay Area. To understand and help the situation, we ended up building a tool last year that helps people to figure out where is the best place for them to live, optimizing for cost and commute and other things: https://bayarea.teleport.org

  • locust415

    This is not good for California drought

  • Perrofelix

    Don’t blame me, I left in 2010… and I know that if I came back it would never be the same again. Thanks for the memories, Bay Area!

  • Don

    The map onle covers domestic migration. Do the numbers in the story include total population growth, including international migration? In my neighborhood in the south bay, many new residents come from India, Korea and China. Our wonderful weather and tech sector job growth is a magnet for people from all over the world.

  • goblue72

    Context matters – the Bay Area is growing, but its not actually growing all that fast – http://www.vox.com/2015/3/28/8300391/silicon-valley-slow-growth

  • David

    The irony of the Bay Area is that it is a product of luck, racism, and greed. Asians and Jews were only allowed to have property in small select areas (such as the once useless wetlands of San Mateo or the once worthless orchards of Cupertino). They transformed their cities and established hubs of culture, learning, values, and prosperity. In time, technology companies established research facilities to escape the “suits” of New York. Because travel was more difficult in the 1970’s/1980’s, programmers and innovators had the freedom to experiment without corporate greed getting in the way. The trend caught on and all of the affluence that the Bay Area has is because of the blood sweat and tears of a few great white men. Over time, those same white men imported an army of immigrants from all around the world. With that, more Jews and Asians flocked to the Bay Area which gave birth to some of the most unjust companies we have ever known. Google and Apple make billions in profits while the Latino and African American community are priced out. The Latinos who are allowed to stay are basically considered the premium slave class, tending to remedial jobs. They are surrounded by tens of thousands of luxury cars and grow up in a community where Jewish and Asian students are more articulate and educated than Latino and African American 10th graders in high school. This is most visible in certain school districts that have more students with 700+ SAT scores in mathematics than ALL African Americans in the entire country. One only has to look at local test scores, break it down by race, and you quickly realize who we actually are. That should give all residents of the Bay Area pause, do we really want to create an elitist utopia that is counter to everything we think we stand for? Studies have shown that the Bay Area is the most bigoted and closed-minded community in the entire country. In one hand, we say how diverse we are but when we look at our jobs, students, housing, etc. it all points to bubbled communities that keep African Americans and Latinos out.

    The best example of our bigotry is Mayor Ed Lee of S.F. He is more concerned with words that police officers use in private rather than his own racist policies that are leading to the displacement of African Americans and Latinos. It is rather all sad. He will play the game and attribute small amounts of money to programs here and there but at the end of the day if you are not well educated and making $150,000+ you cannot get by in the Bay Area. It just sickens me that we like to throw money at things and say we care, even though we tolerate cycles of poverty to continue. “Teach a man to fish” instead of just feeding him for a day.

    Presently, there are real permanent cycles of poverty created by the absurd greed and lack of civility of technology companies. Most affluent people in the Bay Area are unaware that their success, environmental policies, and educational elitism has made it impossible for uneducated workers to have a chance. With housing costing over $1 million and rent prices skyrocketing, it is impossible for most Latinos and African Americans to create the stability necessary for their children to become lawyers, doctors, engineers, programmers, etc. This is why the professional racial gap is so extreme in the Bay Area and the United States. This is why we are falling behind as a country and a community, everyone wants to move here but only the elites are allowed to own property. We have open borders in California and welcome in immigrants from Mexico and while their lives are better living in poverty in the United States than what they had in Mexico, the reality is that our community is exploiting them as a slave class and nothing is changing. Technology companies don’t do a thing to invest in the youth, especially the disadvantaged youth. So yes Bay Area, aren’t we so swell? Aren’t we so great in our bubbled community of greed, elitism, and power? Trillions of dollars exist here yet we have the most unjust schools, jobs, and with gentrification on the extreme rise we will soon be a community of only Asians and Jews which is fine as I am both but I am ashamed of the irresponsible and lack of civility that exists in the Bay Area. We talk the talk but never walk the walk. So keep growing in size, Bay Area, we will keep the cycle of poverty alive as we spend our profits on fancy cars, elaborate homes, memorable vacations, and pointless hobbies (I can’t wait for the Apple Campus to be completed, the symbol of how elite, greedy, and inhumane we truly are).

  • wandagb

    Domestic migration? What nonsense. California population growth is totally driven by immigrants and their subsequent births.


    Why is California’s population growing without end?
    • Many believe growth comes from other states, but that hasn’t been true since the 1980s. Between 1990 and 2000, California’s net domestic migration was -1,243,000. Between 2000 and 2010, California’s net domestic migration was -1,434,000.
    More people left California for other states than came here since the 1980s.
    • Others think California’s fertility is too high, but the Total Fertility Rate of all California women (average number of children per woman) has been at or below replacement since 2000.
    • In fact, the demographic statistics show that all of California’s population growth comes from immigration and the natural increase of immigrants.


Lisa Pickoff-White

Lisa Pickoff-White is KQED’s data reporter. Lisa specializes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them to life through compelling visuals, including photography and data visualizations. She previously has worked at the Center for Investigative Reporting and other national outlets. Her work has been honored with awards from the Online News Association, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists and SXSW Interactive.  Follow: @pickoffwhite Email: lpickoffwhite@kqed.org


Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area’s transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED’s comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

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