By Jimmie Covington

Memphis lost about 21,000 residents to outward movement to other counties in the United States during 2010-2014, according to recently released U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

The estimates reflect a strong continuation of net loss to outmigration that has been occurring for decades. Census and birth-death numbers reflected that about 80,000 more people moved out of the city than moved in during 2000-2009.

Memphis did not have a major drop in population during the decade because of births outnumbering deaths and a net gain of people here from migration from foreign counties.

The 1970 Census was the last census to show more people moving into Shelby County than moving away.

The July 1, 2014, census estimates released in March include county and metropolitan area numbers and do not include city numbers. However, they show a net domestic (within the United States) migration loss for Shelby County of 21,057 in the 2010-2014 period.

Figures for decades have shown a consistent pattern of more people moving to suburban Shelby County than moving away at the same time that large numbers of residents have moved away from Memphis.

Thus, people who study population numbers consider it safe to conclude that the 21,057 net domestic migration loss to other counties within the United States presents a picture of a Memphis loss.

And also it seems clear that while many Memphis residents are moving to DeSoto County and other surrounding suburban counties, Memphis is a major generator of a substantial movement away from the nine-county Memphis metro area entirely. At the same time a large number of people are moving to DeSoto County, a significant number of people apparently are moving from DeSoto and other Memphis suburban counties to other counties in he nation.

The estimates place the net domestic migration loss for the nine-county area to counties in other parts of the country at 21,999.

Here are the estimated net domestic migration gains and losses during 2010-2014 for the other eight counties in the metro area: DeSoto County, +5,370; Tate County, Miss., -1,080; Tunica County, Miss., -712; Marshall County, Miss., -1,099; Benton County, Miss., -408; Crittenden County, Ark., -2,795; Fayette County, Tenn.,+229; Tipton County, Tenn., -519.

The estimated population gains or losses for the nine counties in the metro area during 2010-2014 are:

Shelby, +11,163; DeSoto, +9,649; Tate, -678; Tunica, -180; Marshall, -905; Benton, -434; Crittenden, -1,354; Fayette, +598; Tipton, +542; metro area, +18,401.

The estimated populations of the counties and the metro area as a whole on July 1, 2014, were: Shelby, 938,803; DeSoto, 170,913; Tate, 28,204; Tunica, 10,598; Marshall, 36,234; Benton, 8,296; Crittenden, 49,548; Fayette, 39,011; Tipton, 61,623; metro area, 1,343,230.

This was published in this month’s issue of Best Times, a monthly news magazine for active readers 50 and older.

Jimmie Covington is a veteran Memphis reporter with lengthy experience in covering governmental, school and demographic issues. He is now a contributing writer with The Best Times, a monthly news magazine for active people 50 and older.