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ABQ Outmigration Halts

ABQ Outmigration Halts

Metro Area Still Dead Last in Growing Regions of U.S.

The Albuquerque metro area halted its brain drain in 2016 as more people came to the area than left for the first time in three years.

That’s according to a new population estimate Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The four-county area’s population grew by 4,732, or 0.5 percent in the year that ended July 1, 2016, an improvement from near stagnant growth rates in the previous three years.

Population chartDespite the population increase, the area’s growth rate was dead last among major metro areas in the region.

Phoenix, for instance, grew by 93,680 people, or 1.6 percent, while Las Vegas’ population increased by 46,375, or 2.2 percent.

The big news for the Albuquerque area, though, was the halt of the brain drain.

In 2016, the area had a positive net migration of 2,028, meaning that many more people came here than left. That included a positive domestic in-migration of 963, as well as an in-migration of 1,065 people from foreign countries.

In 2015, the area had a net out-migration of 884 people, and of 2,264 people in 2014.

The area’s population in 2016 was 909,906, up from 905,174 the previous year.

New Mexico’s three other major metro areas had mixed population changes. The Farmingtion area’s population fell by 622, or 3.1 percent. Las Cruces grew by 0.3 percent, and Santa Fe grew by 0.6 percent.


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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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