From 2017-2021, Maricopa and Pima counties attracted 151,586 and 37,346 domestic in-migrants from other states and the District of Columbia, respectively. So, what states send the most new residents to Maricopa County and Pima County?

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Migration plays an important part in the overall health and development of states. In Arizona, Maricopa and Pima counties serve as key areas of interest due to their significant population centers. Maricopa County, the primary county of the Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), and Pima County, representing the Tucson MSA, attract a considerable number of new residents. Understanding which states are sending the most residents to these counties can provide valuable insights into demographic and economic changes within Arizona.

The data for this analysis comes from the 2017-2021 5-year American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS uses a series of monthly samples to produce estimates, offering a detailed picture of migration trends. The state-to-county migration flows are created from tabulations of the current county of residence crossed by state of residence one year ago, including data from all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Maricopa County attracted a total of 185,040 individuals from 49 states and the District of Columbia (Maricopa received no in-migrants from Vermont), with 33,454 of those migrants coming from other counties within Arizona. The leading contributors to Maricopa County’s population inflows were California, with 36,965 individuals, followed by Washington, with 10,756, and Texas, with 9,538. It is important to note that these figures represent inflows and not net flows, highlighting only the number of people moving into Maricopa County. 

Pima County attracted a total of 58,881 individuals from the 50 states (Pima received no in-migrants from the District of Columbia), with 21,535 of those migrants coming from other counties within Arizona. The leading contributors to Pima County’s population inflows were California, with 7,949 individuals, followed by Texas, with 2,523, and Colorado, with 2,239.

Additionally, the ACS state-to-county data allows an investigation into which counties Arizonans moved into. Arizona sent the greatest number of domestic migrants to Clark County, Nevada, with 5,302 individuals, followed by San Diego County, California, with 5,002, and Los Angeles County, California, with 4,703. These migration patterns highlight significant flows of individuals from Arizona to neighboring states and key metropolitan areas in California. 

Author: This story was written by Delaney O’Kray-Murphy, an EBRC research economist.