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Southern Regions Experience Surge in Migration

As many struggle to afford a mortgage–let alone their dream home–nationwide, many are migrating in search of more affordable areas to obtain homeownership and/or avoid being cost-burdened. CraftJack has analyzed Census Bureau data in order to determine which states Americans are moving to and from the most across the country, and the reason behind their moves.

The reasons people move may vary; however, regarding the current housing market, many are motivated to relocate due to economic inflation. Like birds in the winter, many people are flocking further toward South, where year-round temperatures and winters are historically better.

The top 10 states people are moving to include:

  1. Florida
  2. Texas
  3. Arizona
  4. North Carolina
  5. South Carolina
  6. Tennessee
  7. Georgia
  8. Idaho
  9. Utah
  10. Nevada

The top 10 states people are moving away from include:

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. Illinois
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New Jersey
  6. Louisiana
  7. Maryland
  8. Hawaii
  9. Minnesota
  10. Michigan

When it comes to the states Americans are leaving, the top three are home to the most populated cities in the U.S. The number one state people are leaving is California, followed by New York, and Illinois. Massachusetts, New Jersey, Louisiana, Maryland, Hawaii, Minnesota, and Michigan round out the top 10 states people are saying goodbye to. Among regions, the South is seeing the greatest increase in migration, while the Northeast is losing the most people.


























More than 1 in 4 (26%) Americans moved out of state in the last five years. It may be no surprise, 1 in 5 moved in 2021, following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, 13% report moving in 2022.

As for why Americans are moving, the number one reason is for a job, followed by moving closer to family, wanting a lower cost of living, wanting to live in a new place, and wanting to live in a warmer climate.

Many Americans are also changing the type of area where they live. More than half (55%) reported leaving the suburbs, 29% left urban areas, and 15% left rural areas. Meanwhile, 48% moved to the suburbs, 37% to urban areas, and 15% to rural areas. The average cost of moving was $3,946.

Overall, most people (88%) are happy with their move. Among the 12% who are not, 88% say they would move back to their former state. Moving again wouldn’t be unlikely, as the average American reports moving six times and living in two different states.

Although not everyone has moved in the last five years, 63% of Americans say they’ve thought about it. The top reasons why people are considering moving include wanting a change of scenery (25%), wanting a lower cost of living (22%), and wanting to live in a warmer climate (10%).

The majority of people (63%) say the cost of moving is what’s stopping them from actually doing it and more than 1 in 10 say it’s just too much of a hassle. The top states people report wanting to move to include Colorado, California, Florida, Washington, and Oregon. If money wasn’t a concern, the most desired states to live in are California, Hawaii, New York, Colorado, and Florida.

To read the full report, including more data, charts and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport, with more than six years of writing experience. She has served as Editor-in-Chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington. She has covered events such as the Byron Nelson, Pac-12 Conferences, the Women in Dallas Film Festival, to freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, she is an avid jazz lover and reader. She can be reached at [email protected]

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