Since the pandemic, many Americans have started working at home and have decided to pack their bags and move states. New career prospects, a rural lifestyle, or a lower cost of living are just a few of the multiple reasons for this internal migration. Here are 18 states that Americans are choosing as their new home.
Florida welcomed the most new residents, with just under 740,000 people moving to the Sunshine State between 2021 and 2022. The low taxes and weather attract many, but others moved for the state’s COVID policies during the pandemic. Singer Alissa Musto told Business Insider, “I was inspired to move to Florida because, while live music and entertainment was shut down nationwide during COVID, Florida’s economy remained open, making it one of the few places in the country where I was still able to work in my field.”
According to Business Insider, the Lone Star State is the second-most popular state to move to in America. Hundreds of thousands of transplants have moved to Texas for its cheaper cost of living and plentiful job opportunities. Eric Johnson, the mayor of Dallas, told Business Insider, “People are moving to Texas from California because of our politics and culture,” and that other newcomers were attracted by relatively cheap housing.
The Houston Chronicle found that there is also an opposite trend for Texans moving to California, with the Golden State welcoming 42,279 Texans in 2022. A major motivator is the higher pay in California, which has an average salary of $73,220, much higher than the Texan average of $57,300.
Many outdoor enthusiasts are moving to North Carolina for its diverse topography. The Tarheel State saw a 9,000-person net increase in 2021, largely due to low housing costs, relatively low property taxes, and its blend of city life and small-town charm.
Calli Edington, a former California resident, told Business Insider that she moved to Georgia for the lower house prices and was surprised at how friendly Georgians are. “People in the south are known for being polite, but I was shocked by how nice their manners are. It’s unbelievable, really. People are also very conversational here. When you’re out in public, everyone is willing to have a conversation with you — everyone just seems so friendly.”
The Volunteer State’s low taxes, low living costs, expanding job market, and natural landscapes attract Americans from all over the country. Houses in September 2023 were selling for a median price of $367,900, well below the national average of $410,200.
Arizona is known for its low cost of living and favorable tax structure. There is no estate tax in the Grand Canyon State, making it a popular destination for retirees seeking to protect their wealth. Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, the state’s capital city, saw a net influx of 76,000 people over the past two years.
The Evergreen State saw its population expand by about 1.1 percent from 2022 to 2023, with many people moving to the state due to its robust housing growth. Sixty-three percent of new housing built in 2022–2023 was multifamily buildings, attracting families to move to counties such as Clark, King, and Pierce.
The Portland Press Herald reported that Maine has experienced “an unexpected pandemic-fueled population boom,” attracting 84,000 residents since 2013. The pandemic popularizing work from home saw many people move from crowded cities to the Pine Tree State, famous for its rural landscapes.
Delaware is a popular state due to its low taxes, affordable housing, strong job market, and proximity to nearby urban financial districts. According to Forbes Home, the state grew by almost 2,200 families in 2022.
South Carolina, the Palmetto State, is 11.5 percent cheaper than the average state in the U.S. Henry McMaster, the state’s Republican governor, told Fox News, “South Carolina has it all. Our quality of life, rich cultural heritage, abundant natural resources, and thriving economy make South Carolina the ideal place to live, work, and raise a family.”
People are moving to Nevada from the Pacific Northwest and southern states, which are more humid than Nevada. The Silver State has long been popular with retirees for its weather and is attracting younger professionals thanks to its lack of personal income tax.
It’s not just the Rocky Mountains that attract people to Colorado. The Centennial State is attracting Americans with its growing tech industry and Fortune 500 companies offering career opportunities. Denver, in particular, has become a hot spot for movers attracted by its safety and craft brewery industries.
Idaho’s low cost of living and close proximity to the water without the real estate troubles resulted in an influx of 1,800 households in 2022. Booming job markets in agriculture and medicine have driven a population increase in Boise.
In the 2021–2022 period, 263,000 Americans moved to Pennsylvania. The Keystone State has a 2 percent lower cost of living than the national average and a decades-low unemployment rate of 3.4 percent. The commonwealth’s housing and health care costs are also lower than the U.S. average, attracting transplants looking to save money.
Virginia localities bordering metro areas are seeing significant population growth, with Americans attracted by a combination of factors, including lower house prices, rising urban real estate values, and a shift to working from home, according to estates program manager Hamilton Lombard.
During the pandemic, New York saw net-out migration as people started working from home and moved to more rural areas. But that trend has slowed, and Americans are returning to the Big Apple for its plentiful career opportunities and bustling city atmosphere.
The Old Line State is seeing growth in the Eastern Shore and its western counties, with people moving from Washington, D.C. Lower housing costs are a key driver for the movement, along with its forested areas and close proximity to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York.
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