Everyone Wants to Move to This U.S. State — and It’s Not the One You Expect

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Dining and socializing on a sunny Sunday on Battery Park Ave.
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The COVID-19 pandemic really shook up moving patterns, with many people taking advantage of WFH policies and moving away from their place of work, others relocating closer to their hometown, and still others moving to Maine, in particular. And a new report has found that a Southern state has taken the top spot for the place people most want to call home. 

According to a report, North Carolina saw the largest increase of new residents over the last year, while other Southern cities also experienced significant gains.

The poll of 143,506 users was taken between January 2023 and March 2024 and surveyed how many people wanted to leave a certain state versus how many people wanted to move there, and calculated the net amount. It also took into account migration data from the U.S. Census Bureau when publishing its findings.

North Carolina came out on top of the list of top states people wanted to move to in 2024. It was closely trailed by South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee. Texas came in at number five with a net migration of only 1,157, thanks to a significant number of people also saying they’d choose to leave the state. While Texas and Florida saw significant population increases from 2020 to 2023, those numbers were somewhat tempered by the amount of people who said they were hoping to move from those states to different ones.

Other findings from the report hinted that growing inflation, city life, and increasing costs of living were convincing people to move from expensive urban hotspots. According to the survey, California was the state that had the highest number of people who wanted to leave (10,453 survey respondents). It’s a trend that isn’t entirely surprising, considering that U.S. Census data found the state experienced a 1.4% population decrease between 2020 and 2023. Other states that saw similar population decreases were New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Washington, in that order.

Michael Basch, Atento Capital’s founder and general partner, told Consumer Affairs that many “up-and-coming” states had seen significant growth over the past few years, making them more attractive places for people to settle down and have a better quality of life.

This article originally published on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Everyone Wants to Move to This U.S. State — and It’s Not the One You Expect