Columbus has the most population growth out of any metropolitan in U.S. – here’s why

Sav McKee

Move over, Los Angeles and San Francisco – sure, you may have palm trees, mountains, and skyscrapers, but frankly, people don’t want to live there anymore, and they’re flocking to other cities instead.

And specifically, to Columbus. 


According to Bloomberg and analysis by The Bank of America, Columbus, Ohio had the highest growing population out of any “big” city in America in 2023, with a 1.1+ population gain. Austin, TX was next.

Before reaching its peak at about a 23.8% population increase in 2019, the share of the US population moving to and living in the West continued to grow steadily. But with the pandemic, the population has begun to decline. The Bank of America attributes the migration from the West to the Midwest and South to mostly unaffordable housing in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, who were the top cities to decrease in population last year. “There’s a close relationship between a metropolitan area’s median mortgage payment and that area’s change of population last year,” said the article.

“Mortgage payments in Pacific Coast metropolitan areas all exceed payments in other regions,” they continued. That being said, New York City and Miami were the third and fourth biggest losers (of population growth, of course), which are both Atlantic Coast cities. 

Studies that show Columbus is gaining appeal to those who used to live in large, coastal cities – PolicyGenius ranked Cbus as the third best city for climate migration, and a recent Global Groundwork Index release compiled by Site Selection Magazine ranked Columbus, Ohio, as the #2 city in all of America for commerce, and Ohio in general as the #1 state for commerce.

You can check out the rest of the results here:

Population Sliding in US West and Northeast | Bank of America data show Southern metro areas making biggest gains

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