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Lakeland’s migration patterns

Where are Lakelanders moving to and from in young adulthood?

Aerial shot of downtown Lakeland and three lakes

Are you a new Lakelander or have you been here all your life?

Photo by @eagle_8_wfla

Can you say that you were “born and raised in Lakeland,” or are you one of our more recent transplants? We took a deep dive into Migration Patternswhich uses data from the United States Census Bureau — to show where most Lakelanders move to and from between the ages of 16 and 26.

It turns out that there’s a good chance our readers have been around for a while.

  • Of Lakeland’s young adults who grew up here, ~64% chose to stay in Lakeland.
  • 17% of those who lived in Lakeland at age 16 moved away but stayed in Florida, and 18% moved out of state.
  • Most in-state movers opted to stay close to home in larger cities Tampa and Orlando.
  • The most popular destinations for those who moved out of state are Atlanta, GA; New York, NY; Washington, DC; and Los Angeles, CA.
  • Former Lakelanders moved an average of 202 miles away for a new job, above the national average of 181 miles.

In addition to the young adults choosing to stay in Swan City, Lakeland is also one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. So from where are new Lakelanders moving?

  • Of Lakeland’s current young adult residents, 16% moved from other areas in Florida.
  • Most of these movers are from urban cities like Tampa, Orlando, and Miami.
  • 20% of residents came from out of state, with most moving from up north.
  • It’s most likely that your new neighbors are from New York, NY; Newark, NJ; or Philadelphia, PA.
  • Lakeland’s job market is also bringing in residents from near and far — the average young adult moved here from 210 miles away for a local job.

Want to map it out for yourself? Check out migration patterns for Lakeland and more cities across the country, here.