During the recent Women in Economic Development Forum, CBRE provided data on population growth trends that are likely to affect site selection and talent attraction strategies for EDOs (Economic Development Organizations). The data covers the recent five-year periods of 2010-2015 and 2016-2021.
The figure below highlights the regions experiencing the largest growth tend to be mid-sized cities in the west and suburban areas of larger cities throughout the U.S. while showing slower urban growth around areas like Austin, TX, Charlotte, NC, and Nashville, TN. Most of this shift has been attributed to the ability for people to work remotely and a shift in priorities in the Millennial population.
As we look at locations that are beginning to grow again after periods of population decline, many are locations focused on manufacturing and industrial hubs, similar to our region. The reshoring of manufacturing provides additional opportunities for these mid-sized markets to find long-term solutions for sustainable population growth.
The long-term effect of this migration is still unclear; however, there is potential for emerging investment opportunities in these markets if the population growth continues.
Workforce continues to be a driver in decision-making for companies looking to relocate or expand. Recent data highlights the trend of companies following talent to new markets as those potential employers seek lower-cost locations. This is especially true in the technology field.
Residents and employers benefit from a high quality of life and a cost of living that is significantly lower than other Mid-West cities, as well as the National Average (100) as determined by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER). We also provide short commutes (23 minutes) and a young population (39 years old).
Our region has the opportunity to attract and retain primary employers due to our education to workforce pipelines and our ability to create agile training programs to fill the evolving needs of employers. We also have access to high-speed internet and fiber facilitating remote work and supporting the tech industry.