8.2 Million People Moved in 2022—These Destinations Did the Best


More people are moving out of state as Americans take advantage of remote and hybrid work to move across the country. In 2022 alone, 8.2 million people moved between states, according to the latest U.S. Census data.

The annual American Community Survey by the bureau found that overall, in 2022, state-to-state movers made up a larger share of movers, rising 19.9% compared to 18.8% the prior year. 

These numbers show a trend of rising state-to-state migration, even as overall movement has declined. Between 2021 and 2022, the overall migration rate dropped slightly, from 12.8% to 12.6%. 

In other words, while people are staying still overall, those who do move are increasingly likely to move to another state. So where are they going, where are they leaving, and why?

Where Are People Moving To? 

The number of people moving from one state to another was higher in the South and West compared to other parts of the country. In many cases, the states with the largest migration flows were people moving from one highly populated state to another. For example, many people living in California left for Texas and Arizona, while those in New York left for nearby New Jersey or sunny Florida.

According to one estimation of the Census data, Connecticut had the highest net rate of migration, at 1.58%, gaining 56,582 people between 2021 and 2022. Other areas with the highest net migration included warmer states like South Carolina, Florida, and Arizona.

State Immigration Rates Compared to National Rate (2022) - U.S. Census Bureau
State Immigration Rates Compared to National Rate (2022) – U.S. Census Bureau

What States and Areas Are People Leaving? 

Most of the places where people are moving out of state tend to be on the East Coast. New York, Maryland, and New Jersey were among the top places that lost residents in 2022, losing -1.25%, -1.08% and -1% of the total population, respectively.

Texas was among the states with the lowest outmigration rate at 11.7%, meaning those who did move were less likely to move out of state.

State Outmigration Rates Compared to National Rate (2022) - U.S. Census Bureau
State Outmigration Rates Compared to National Rate (2022) – U.S. Census Bureau

What These Trends Tell Us About the Real Estate Market 

Migration patterns have changed since the pandemic, according to William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. While fewer people are moving within their county, data suggests that longer-distance movement across states has risen.

“Longer-distance migration may continue to rise as younger workers become more willing to seek jobs across the country and as employment opportunities respond to the changing nature of work-residence patterns that began during the pandemic,” Frey wrote.

As people’s living habits change, that could also have longer-term consequences on the real estate market. With areas in less demand for housing, prices are more likely to fall.

For example, in Texas, which saw the least amount of people leave the state, the real estate market is in a correction. Prices in areas like Austin, once the poster child for the booming housing market, are dropping faster than the national average.

The opposite is true in markets with strong migration flows. In October, the median listing home price for a home in Raleigh, North Carolina, was 6.7% higher year over year. North Carolina was one of the states that saw a higher-than-average number of people move into the state from another state. 

The U.S. Census data also supports homebuyer migration trends, as many homebuyers are moving to large cities in the South. Home prices in Florida, for example, have steadily increased as more people move in from out of state, although prices have started to flatline. 

The Bottom Line 

It’s important to keep in mind that the U.S. Census data lags, so it’s possible that the numbers from this year will be different. Still, combined with looking at other data on where homeowners are moving to, it seems to hold up that migration trends are having an influence on prices in some real estate markets.

As more people move to seek better-paying jobs or flexible work schedules, those areas are likely to increase in price, while places that are declining in popularity (like Austin, Texas) are likely to see prices drop. 

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.


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