Economic Insights

Miami-Dade’s Population Grows in 2022 As International Migration Rises Above 2019 Figure

Economic Insights
Economic Insights

By Gay Cororaton, MIAMI REALTORS® Chief Economist


Miami-Dade County’s population increased year-over-year in 2022, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.[1]  Miami-Dade is one of only 11 counties in the U.S. that are back to positive population growth in 2021-2022 after pandemic-driven population declines impacted the entire country, according to a new Brookings Institute report that studied 38 select counties.


Like nearly all major U.S. metros, Miami-Dade’s population declined in 2020-21 because a global pandemic closed borders and significantly limited travel. Almost every U.S. metro experienced pandemic-driven population declines. Miami-Dade’s population declined at the time because of closed borders, not because people were moving out. Miami-Dade was especially hit hard because international migration has always been the driving force for the county’s population dynamics.


Miami’s population is back to positive population growth (+3,416) with the normalization of international travel and lower net domestic outmigration in 2022. The same can’t be said for Los Angeles County and the city of New York, according to the Brookings Institute study.

Miami-Dade County’s spot as the No. 1 destination for foreign homebuyers, sustained job growth, and the emergence of a strong tech culture will likely continue to attract businesses and people who prefer  Miami-Dade County’s highly urbanized, multicultural, and dynamic pace of work and lifestyle. Slower home price appreciation due to the normalization of mortgage rates and Florida’s Live Local Act that is intended to increase the supply of housing are factors that will make housing more affordable in Miami-Dade.


Miami-Dade’s International Migration Soars in 2022, Tops Pre-Pandemic Figure

As an international destination for visitors, immigrants, and businesses, net international migration has been a critical component of Miami-Dade County’s population growth. Over the decade 2010-2019, Miami-Dade County led the nation’s counties with an annual average of 39,017 net international movers. However, net international migration plunged in 2020 to just 739 people as COVID travel bans practically shut down international travel.


As international travel resumed with COVID no longer a pandemic, net international migration rose in 2022 (+39,170) to its pre-pandemic level. It offset the net domestic outmigration to other U.S. counties (-38,203), resulting in a net increase in Miami-Dade’s population in 2022. The natural increase in population also rose as births started to increase faster than deaths.


International air travel arrival data from January through April 2023 indicates continued recovery in international tourism and migration. The number of international arrivers at the Miami International Airport plunged to 3.3 million in 2020 from 10.5 million in the prior year. International travel arrivals from January through April 2023 stood at 3.4 million and could hit 10 million by year’s end at the current pace, slightly above the 9.6 million passengers that landed at the MIA in 2022.


Miami-Dade County has been a beacon for international movers. Florida has been the top destination of foreign buyers, making up 23% of foreign purchases, according to the 2023 National Association of Realtors® International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate report.[2] The Florida and MIAMI international reports are expected to be released around October, but  in 2022, the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm Beach market accounted for 53% of Florida’s foreign buyers, of which 67%  purchased in Miami-Dade County.


Smaller Net Domestic Outmigration in 2022 Compared to 2019

Miami-Dade County has had negative net domestic migration even in the 2010-2019 decade, contrary to news that “locals are fleeing for the first since the 70s.”  The good news is that domestic outmigration has continued to decrease, from a low of -50,572 people in 2018 to a smaller outmigration of -38,203 in 2022.


More recent data based on out-of-state driver licenses exchanged for a Florida license shows driver licenses are still higher than 2023 compared to 2019 although the count has moderated from the surge in 2020-2021. In the first half of 2023, there were 10,602 out-of-state driver license exchanges, down 4% from the first half of 2022, but still 24% higher than in the first half of 2019.  California driver license exchanges are up 68% from the level in 2019, New York license exchange are up 51% , and New Jersey license exchanges are up 27%.


Florida’s low corporate tax rate (5.5%) has attracted big-name relocations and company expansions among tech, finance, and legal companies (e.g., Citadel, Microsoft, Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, Kaseya, Kirland & Ellis), but Miami-Dade attracts small entrepreneurs as well. Miami-Dade County is still the most preferred business location in Florida, with the highest number of business applications (127,895) and second nationally, topped by Los Angeles County (160,925).



Improving Affordability Due to Moderation in Home Price Appreciation and Rent Growth    

Sustained domestic migration into an area is heavily influenced by the availability of decent, safe, and affordable housing. The low mortgage rate environment in 2020-2021 led to surging home prices that worsened home affordability across the nation.


Over the period June 2019-June 2023, Miami-Dade County saw a  68% price appreciation that was in line with other Florida counties experiencing strong migration like Hillsborough (66%), Lee (69%), and Orange (61%).


With the normalization of mortgage rates, the double-digit home price growth has cooled to the single-digit pace in Miami-Dade, helping to improve home affordability. As of June 2023, the median single-family home sales price was up 7.5% year-over-year (16% in June 202) while the median condominiums/townhome sales price rose just 2% (21% in June 2022).


The pace of rent growth has also cooled, with more rentals hitting the market. According to MIAMI MLS and Rental Beast data, the median asking rent on a 2-bedroom apartment was down 10.7% year-over-year as of May 2023 although the asking rent is still up nearly 75% from the level in May 2019.[3]


Compared to other major gateway cities, Miami-Dade County is still relatively affordable, and this has attracted businesses and people looking for the highly urbanized and cultural lifestyle that Miami-Dade County offers.  As of June 2023, the single-family median sales price was $622,500, much lower than the list prices in Los Angeles County ($1.1 M), San Francisco  County ($1.3 M), or New York County $(1.6 M).[4] The median asking rent on a 0-to-2-bedroom unit on ($2,462) is still lower compared to New York ($2, 899), San Francisco ($2,960), or Los Angeles ($2,791).[5]


Florida’s Live Local Act is intended to address the statewide erosion in affordability by providing low interest rate loans for the development of affordable housing, property tax exemption for new or rehabilitated 0- to 5-unit multifamily housing, and downpayment/closing assistance for eligible workforce first-time homebuyers (e.g., teachers, police, firemen), among others.[6]

[1] Population and Housing Unit Estimates Datasets (

[2] Foreign Buyers & Market Update – MIAMI REALTORS®

[3] South-Floridas-Economic-Fundamentals-Remain-Solid-South-Florida-Residential-Rental-Market-Report-May-2023.pdf (

[4] Real Estate Data and Market Trends for Download

[5] June 2023 Rental Report: Rents Continue to Decline Year Over Year – Economic Research

[6] Live Local Act (


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