Where did Americans Move in 2022?

In 2022, Americans were on the move, but where to? Most found themselves leaving high cost of living areas in favor of warmer climates and more reasonable housing conditions.

The chosen states for inbound moving migration predominantly reside in the south. Whether it’s a coincidence or not, many of these states were among the first to lessen Covid-19 regulations. While it’s a possibility that the surge in remote work leads people to areas with less restriction in the short term, it could also be that these locations offer a smaller tax burden in the long term as well.

Takeaways From the 2022 Moving Migration Report

While some of the findings of the 2022 Moving Migration Report were expected, a number of others were surprising. Here are some of the top takeaways from the report:

  • Move volume, or the number of individuals that moved in 2022 was down compared to previous years.
  • Southern states remained primary draws for those moving, with top destinations South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, and Florida.
  • For the fourth year in a row, Illinois has the largest percentage of individuals moving out of the state.
  • Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina have consistently been on the list of top inbound states since 2020.
  • Many of the moves revolve around the flexibility of remote work and those choosing to take the route of early retirement.

Illinois is Top Outbound State for 9 Years in a Row

Since 2014, Illinois has been the top state for outbound moves, according to the Moving Migration Report.

Other leading outbound states include New Jersey and Pennsylvania, both of which have remained on the list for more than a decade.

Neighbor released information stating that 78% of Americans are reducing their spending this holiday season. With the surge in inflation and the competitive housing market that is currently in play, many are cutting back on expenses to make ends meet. One of the biggest expenses Americans face are income and property taxes. Reducing those can have a significant impact on a family’s budget.

California and New York sit towards the top of the highest cost of living lists in the United States. To find affordable housing and provide a higher quality of life for their families, people are branching out of expensive states and cities or urban areas.

While houses still sell for top dollar in many areas, the competition has lessened

What’s more, many who are listing homes in top metro locations are finding that there are fewer showings than in previous years. The increase in cost is pushing prospective buyers into rural areas for homeownership. With affordability and quality of life top of mind, buyers are more likely to forgo convenience for lower taxes and home prices.

Quality of Life Is the Top Concern for Movers in 2022

After experiencing several years of uncertainty, many are on the hunt for somewhere to settle that provides a higher quality of life than they previously had. For many, that means finding a home that is nestled in nature and allows for ample outdoor experiences. Others are relocating to be near family.

One of the driving forces behind this trend is the continuance of remote work. After numerous companies implemented this structure during the pandemic, workers realized they could successfully fulfill their work obligations away from the office. Given that, they are choosing to reside in locations where they can get more bang for their buck. Helping to continue the work from home trend is the fact that many companies downsized their corporate office space during the pandemic, resulting in less office space for their employees to work from. Whether or not the work from home trend will be one the majority of companies ascribe to long term remains to be seen.

Highest Income Tax States in 2022

Having your residence in certain states requires you to pay a higher income tax than what you are liable for in others. Something the two top outbound states have in common is that they have some of the highest tax rates in the country.

Those in California and New Jersey have long dealt with tax rates that are in the highest percentage in the United States. These levels take away from a person’s overall income and leave fewer funds for discretionary spending and investments. Owning property, along with property taxes, is part of this equation as well and another top reason for people moving to lower tax liability states.

Top Cities in 2022

Among the top inbound states in the Moving Migration Report, some cities saw a higher influx of new residents than others. The top cities in 2022 include:

  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Nashville, Tennessee

There are more cities that were high on the list outside of the top states, including some in Minnesota, Ohio, and Texas. Among the similarities between them, the low cost of living and reasonable housing prices is at the top. In addition, all offer access to year-round outdoor recreational opportunities and activities, or in other words an enhanced quality of life.

The Methodology

In the process of bringing this information to light, we compile data from many different angles. We look at population reports and speak to the top companies in the moving industry to get insider knowledge. Additionally, we look at the cities that have seen the most considerable growth and studies and statistics surrounding the topic.

We take this information and then set out to investigate the underlying causes. Many surveys are done on various demographics to understand the nature of someone’s long distance move and what led to the decision. Getting this information from our own customers and others in the industry gives us a first-person look into the situation.

Summary of Findings

Throughout the 2022 Moving Migration Report, you will see that the increasing cost of living is a consistent reason that people provide for their move. Many people are actively seeking affordable housing which they can’t find while living in their current residence.

Additional driving factors for moving to another state include the desire to have a higher quality of life with access to nature and family. With the expanded opportunities for remote work, many are exploring lower-cost living options because they are no longer bound to one location.

The 2022 Moving Migration Report brings you the latest findings and the data that support the information. Where will 2023 take you? Will Illinois or Pennsylvania drop off the list for the first time in over a decade? Only time will tell, so check back in 2023 to find out!

2022 Migration Map