Even with California seeing more people leave the state than move in, some cities are still growing … and growing rapidly.
SmartAsset, a financial tech company, has released a list of the fastest-growing cities with populations over 100,000 in the United States, and two California cities landed in the top 20.
Menifee in Riverside County saw its population grow from 90,599 in 2017 to 109,399 in 2022, or 17.4%, which ranked 9th in the nation.
“Menifee is attracting young families that are clamoring for shopping, dining and entertainment amenities in their own community,” the city says in its economic marketing materials. “As more developers and businesses are discovering this unique situation, Menifee is buzzing as the new ‘Boomtown’ in the nation.”
In Placer County near Sacramento, Roseville’s population surged from 135,325 to 154,826, or 12.2%, ranking 20th.
SmartAsset found that southwestern cities, many of them desert suburbs, dominated the top of the list.
Buckeye, Arizona saw its population explode 48% from 2017 to 2022. Enterprise, Nevada grew by 46% and Goodyear, Arizona surged 27%.
"In general we’ve seen positive growth indicators in the southwest besides just population," said Jaclyn DeJohn, Managing Editor of Economic Analysis at SmartAsset. "In fact, Texas and Arizona place second and fourth respectively in terms of where high earners are moving to. One thing that may be drawing high earners and others to these areas is relative tax-friendliness, and lower costs of living than coastal California and major cities."
Over the same time five-year period, California’s largest and most expensive cities all shed residents.
San Francisco lost 7.8% of its population. San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego declined by 5%, 3.8% and 2.7%, respectively.
In what may be a statistical anomaly, Fullerton, California saw the biggest population shift toward women in the U.S. over the five-year period, according to SmartAsset. The Orange County city saw its female population grow from 48% in 2017 to 53% in 2022.
In 2022, more than 817,000 people left California while about 475,000 people decided to move to the Golden State - meaning California suffered a net loss of around 342,000 residents.