Instead of hemorrhaging, Prince George’s recovered most of its losses and experienced a net gain of more than 3,700 new residents, the study says. Prince George’s drew more new residents during that period than any other city or county in the Washington area except Loudoun County, Va., which saw a net gain of more than 4,800 residents.
The gains in Prince George’s do not put the nation’s wealthiest majority African American jurisdiction among the Top 10 places where Americans are moving, but it does make it a leader in the Washington region. The average income for newcomers to the county hovered around $42,000, significantly lower than the income of newcomers to neighboring counties.
Expanding the local tax base is a centerpiece of County Executive Rushern L. Baker III’s agenda. It’s why his administration is pushing hard to develop major commercial and residential projects such as Westphalia, a high-density planned community in the center of the county.
Though Prince George’s boasts some of the region’s most affordable housing stock, the county also has earned infamy for also having the highest property tax rates in metropolitan Washington. The rates increased just this spring, after a particularly contentious budget battle between Baker and the County Council.
This summer, the Baker administration unveiled economic indicators showing that Prince George’s County was showing signs of economic growth after a protracted recession and mortgage crisis that devastated family wealth. But the county continues to lag behind its wealthier neighbors — such as Montgomery and Fairfax counties and the District of Columbia — in nearly all measures, such as jobs, home prices and employment rate.
In the analysis by Governing, however, all three of those jurisdictions saw population declines in 2013 and 2014.
The magazine conducted its study using Internal Revenue Service data to track tax IDs and where those returns are filed. Because not everyone files tax returns year after year, the numbers could be off by a few. (A recent change in the way the data is collected, going from partial year to full year, could could also be responsible for a slight boost in population gains across the board).
Input your own county into the magazine’s calculator to find out more about migration patterns.