One of the most common measures to project the future growth of an area is internal population growth, meaning births less deaths. Done correctly, it can help predict housing price appreciation, or at least give an indication of potential demand.

Across all metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), where are births and deaths happening and where is the birth rate the highest? Here’s a look.

Births

First up is a look at the top 30 areas for births by MSA. Clearly, the largest population areas have the most births, with New York-Newark-Jersey on top at 236,000 births in 2019, followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach at 149,000 and Chicago-Naperville at 108,000.

A better look for future demand for real estate from internal population growth may be the birth rate, which captures the number of births per 1,000 women. That look follows.

Overall, the places with the fastest birth rates are Hinesville, Georgia at 20.1, Jacksonville, North Carolina at 20.0, Provo-Orem, Utah at 18.7, Odessa, Texas at17.5, Watertown-Fort Drum at 17.4, and Clarksville-Tennessee/Kentucky at 17.4.

A map view of the birth rates across MSAs follows below. If one’s investing universe covers multiple MSAs, it may be a good idea to consider places with high internal population growth.

A map view of the birth rates across MSA follows. If one connects the birth rates figures with home price appreciation, there’s a loose connection that gets stronger over time. Again, may be useful to keep birth rates in mind when allocating financial capital to real estate.

Deaths

Next up, deaths. The following figure looks at deaths by MSA. As with births, clearly the top areas for deaths are the large areas because that is where the population is. A fairer view may be to look at births less deaths and births as a percentage of average births and deaths. These two views follow.

Net Birth Minus Deaths

The first figure looks at births less deaths for the top 30 MSAs. The second figure looks at births as a percentage of the average of births and deaths. The latter view gives an idea of the relative importance of births in the internal population growth picture. Based upon this latter view, real estate markets that may be worth considering are Provo-Orem, Utah; Jacksonville, North Carolina; Logan, Utah; Laredo, Texas; Hinesville, Georgia; McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas; Fairbanks, Alaska; Ogden-Clearfield, Utah; Hanford-Corcoran, California; Midland, Texas; El Centro, California; and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Summing Up

Overall, investors may want to consider birth rates and internal population growth as important indicators when considering real estate investing.