ABQ metro area has slowest population growth in region

The Albuquerque metro area had the slowest population growth of any major metro area in the region for the year that ended July 1, 2017, according to population estimates Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The four-county region's population grew by 3,849 people, or 0.42 percent during the year.

In the region, Austin had the highest growth rate at 2.7 percent, followed by Las Vegas at 2.2 percent, and then Phoenix at 1.9 percent.

In terms of actual numbers, the Phoenix metro area was tops in the region with a population increase of 88,772 people. Austin was next with an increase of 55,269 people, and Las Vegas was third with the addition of 47,355 people.

Population growth is generally linked to thriving economies. And while the Albuquerque metro region's population growth was minuscule, there was some good news in the data. That was that the migration of people out of the area has ended. For the year, the area had a net inflow of 1,362 people. But most of that was due to an influx of people from other countries. In the 12 months that ended July 1, the metro area had a net in-migration of 1,194 people from other countries. Domestic migration was a positive 168 people.

Since 2010, the Albuquerque metro area's population has grown by 23,665, or 2.7 percent. In those seven years, though, the area has had a net outmigration of 1,692 people.

The Albuquerque metro area's population as of July 1, 2017 was 910,726. That was up from 906,877 in 2016.

The metro area consists of four counties: Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia. Sandoval County added the most people, with a population increase of 2,283 people. Bernalillo County was next with an increase of 1,185 people. Valencia County added 301 people, and Torrance County's population was up by 80 people.

Statewide, New Mexico's brain drain and population stagnation continued in the 12 months that ended July 1, as the state had a net outmigration of 4,666 people, according to population estimates released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

It means that during those 12 months, 4,666 more people left New Mexico than came here.

Overall, New Mexico's population did grow during the year, but only by a measly 2,638 people, or 0.1 percent. That growth occurred only because births outpaced deaths.

The exodus of people – and their money – from New Mexico began several years ago, and since 2010, the sate has seen a net outmigration of 42,446 people who have fled to other states for better jobs and safer communities.

As of July 1, 2017, New Mexico's population was 2,088,070.

Here's a look at the rate of population increase for major metro areas in the region:

Here's the growth by actual numbers:

Here are the populations of the region's major metro areas:

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