Texas bucks national trend with net migration increase


Based on projected numbers for net international migration in 2019, experts at the Census Bureau believe that last year will mark the lowest level of net immigration into the U.S. for the past decade. Net migration of foreign-born individuals steadily increased between 2010 and 2016, however since 2016 net migration has dropped fairly steeply. At its highest level, which was between 2015 and 2016, the country gained a net total of over one million new foreign-born residents. One year later, net migration hovered around 930,000, however that drastically declined in 2018 where net migration decreased by nearly 25 percent. If the projections hold true, in 2019 the net migration of foreign-born folks will be decrease another 15 percent from 2018, and coming in at a 43 percent decrease in migration since the peak in 2016.

By comparing this Census report with the 2019 Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate by the National Association of Realtors, it’s easier to see where international buyers are investing their money. Understanding which countries contribute the majority of emigration to specific states helps to interpret present and future immigration trends. The top five countries with buyers purchasing property in the U.S. were noted as Canada, China, India, Mexico and the island nation of the United Kingdom.

The three major patterns that the Census identified as having developed over the decade are: “declining immigration of the foreign born, increasing foreign-born emigration, and changes in Puerto Rican migration following Hurricane Maria in September 2017.” One could also speculate that with the Trump administration’s restrictive approach to immigration, international buyers have been unable to or deterred from entering the country. A recent development, as of 2018, China replaced Mexico as the country with the highest number of foreign-born immigrants moving to the United States. This could be a result of the combination of the administration’s stricter immigration policies between Mexico and America and the continued growth of the Chinese economy. Since 2006 our neighbors to the north in Canada have had fairly consistent levels of immigration to the US. The top five states that individuals emigrating to the U.S. chose to live in were Florida, California, Texas, New York and Massachusetts, respectively.

Out of the five states that the Census Bureau noted as having the highest levels of foreign-born net migration, Texas is the only state to end the decade with a higher level of net migration than it started with in 2010. Projected to have a net increase of 65,000 international residents for last year, Texas boasted a 10 percent increase from the start of the decade. In 2015, during a steep increase in international immigration across the country, the Lone Star state had a positive net migration of 118,000. Since 2010, the Bureau projects that Texas’ foreign-born population increased by 819,000.

Research conducted by NAR showed that Texas attracted roughly ten percent of international buyers overall and was the most popular destination for Mexican buyers, accounting for 28 percent of all Mexican immigration to the U.S. In addition, Texas was the second most popular state for Indian buyers, coming in just one percent less than the most popular state for that group, Florida.

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