Migration trends report: Where are people moving in 2024?

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Migration from state to state in the U.S. has become more commonplace than ever. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 8.2 million movers left one state for another in 2022.

Migration trends show that consumers are leaving some of the most populous states to move to the South. For example, census data shows that California experienced a 1.4% decrease in population between 2020 and 2023. Meanwhile, Texas and Florida saw 4.7% and 5% population increases during the same period, respectively. But have these moving patterns remained the same in 2024?

To figure that out, our team analyzed data from 143,506 ConsumerAffairs users who expressed an interest in moving between January 2023 and March 2024. We weighed the number of people interested in moving away from certain states against the number thinking of moving to those same states to calculate the net migration change we used for our ranking.

Key insights

North Carolina saw the largest net increase in movers, with 3,529 more people expressing interest in moving to the state rather than moving away from it.

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California had the largest net decrease of movers, with a net migration loss of 10,453.

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The states with the most significant migration numbers were located in the Southern U.S.

Jump to insight

States people are moving to and away from

Our analysis revealed that people are considering leaving states with higher costs of living for those with lower costs. The states with the highest net loss of migration, New York and California, are home to densely populated cities with notoriously high rent costs.

Our data suggests that movers are eyeing states in the Southern U.S., like Florida and North Carolina. However, that doesn’t mean residents in these states all want to stay. For example, 16,259 people expressed interest in moving to Florida, but over 13,000 people living in the state were thinking of leaving.

Top 10 states people are moving to

The states with the largest net increase of movers were in the Southern U.S. North Carolina and South Carolina were the most popular and second most popular, respectively.

Top 10 states people are leaving

Our data suggests that states in the Northeastern U.S., as well as some Midwestern states, like Illinois, are seeing the biggest loss of people. California’s whopping net loss of 10,453 people may be due to its steep cost of living; cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco ranked near the bottom of our 2024 Cheapest Places to Live list. New York City ranked at the very bottom of our Cheapest Places to Live list as the most expensive city to live in.

Why are people moving to the South?

According to our analysis, 8 out of the 10 states with the largest net gain of people are in the South. This could coincide with a cheaper cost of living — 8 of the 10 cities that are cheapest to live in are also in the South.

However, Michael Basch, the founder and general partner at Atento Capital, a venture capital firm based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, told ConsumerAffairs that the decision to move states goes beyond living costs. He told us about his experiences living in California and New York — the two states on our list seeing the most significant net loss of movers.

“I’d say if you’re optimizing for kombucha consumed per hour a day, go to LA,” he said. “I think if you want to start a family, if you want quality of life, if you want a nice community or if you want to make a difference, those are all things I think we win over those markets.”

Basch says conditions in many states have changed in recent years to make them more viable places to settle down. For example, he cites Oklahoma as a place for people looking to start a business.

“If you weren't in Oklahoma, and you want to work at a startup or raise capital, you couldn't do so here so easily, let's say a decade ago — that's changed,” Basch explained. “Also if you’re on the coast and wanted to build a company, but don’t want to move to San Francisco, there weren’t a lot of options. That’s changed as well.”

Here's a look at our full data

You can review the net migration of all states here:

Methodology

This analysis includes data from 143,506 ConsumerAffairs users who expressed an interest in moving between January 2023 and March 2024. We also reviewed migration data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The migration trends noted in our analysis do not correlate directly with population or economic growth.

For questions about the data or if you'd like to set up an interview, please email acurls@consumeraffairs.com.

Reference policy

We love it when people share our findings! If you do, please link back to our original article to credit our research.

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