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  • Deeper Dives
  • Outcomes
  • 2019

Net MigrationTampa Bay


  • Tampa Bay’s population growth is solely driven by migration, although some individual counties experienced a natural increase.  
  • A significant amount of intra-regional relocation occurs in Tampa Bay – based on tax return data, more than 43,000 Tampa Bay households moved into a neighboring regional county between 2015 and 2016. 

Tampa Bay remains a highly attractive place for residential relocation, ranking first among our comparison markets in net migration. In fact, Tampa Bay’s 2016-2017 population growth was due solely to migration, as deaths outnumbered births in the aggregate, and within six of the regions eight counties. Tampa Bay was the only community in the comparison set where this occurred. 


In 2017, only Hillsborough and Polk counties experienced a natural increase in population, where residential birth rate exceeded the death rate. In each of Tampa Bay counties, birth rate is declining, and death rate is increasing. 

The regional trend in the annual natural increase rate (defined as birth rate minus death rate) is toward reduced natural increase, which mirrors the national experience. 


As for the second component of the population change migration, Tampa Bay’s counties enjoyed an influx of residents between 2016 and 2017. While little detailed data exists on this recent influx of residents, the Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income Division (SOI) releases data related to households (returns), residents (dependents), and earnings (adjusted gross income) for the 2015-2016 time period, based on the year-to-year address changes reported on tax returns.  

“Tampa Bay remains a highly attractive place for residential relocation.” 


The figures above detail the net change in tax return data for each Tampa Bay county. The net change is calculated as the difference between inflow (new residents) and outflow (former residents) of tax returns year-over-year. 

Based on tax return data, the attractiveness of Tampa Bay’s beach counties- Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota is apparent. These three counties, while constituting 37.5% of total population in the region, attracted 42.4 percent of net returns, 38.7 percent of net dependents (suggesting smaller households migrate to the beach counties) and a whopping 68.4 percent of net adjusted gross income flow to the region.