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Florida hits top spot in US interstate fluctuations

Nine of the top 10 states for net migration are located in the Southern U.S.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Friday reported that it had found red tide in 157 samples along Florida’s Gulf Coast, with the strongest concentrations along Pinellas and Sarasota counties. Credit - William “Patrick” Ma, CC SA 3.0.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Friday reported that it had found red tide in 157 samples along Florida’s Gulf Coast, with the strongest concentrations along Pinellas and Sarasota counties. Credit - William “Patrick” Ma, CC SA 3.0.

The pandemic appeared to have opened up the floodgates of interstate mobility, which reached an all-time-high in 2022. That has meant an influx for certain states and an exodus from others. What are the key patterns and what does this say about internal migration within the U.S.?

According to Storage Café’s review, approximately 32 U.S. states saw more people move in from other states than moved out last year, while 18 states — and Washington, DC — lost residents in this way, according to new analysis of the newly-released census data. There are variants with the data by generations and according to factors such as income, unemployment and home prices (in both the origin and destination states.)

The states the U.S. populace is most likely to move to are the southeastern states. Nine of the top 10 states for net migration are located in the Southern U.S., with Florida registering the largest net gain of residents. Connecticut — the only outlier in the top ten — again reversed a long-time trend of losing residents to other states before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such movements carry economic consequences.

The top ten states with the highest net migration are:

  1. Florida
  2. Texas
  3. North Carolina
  4. Arizona
  5. Georgia
  6. South Carolina
  7. Connecticut
  8. Tennessee
  9. Alabama
  10. Oklahoma

In contrast, the states many in the U.S. appear to be ditching are locations in California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Maryland. Each of these states has significantly more outbound moves than inbound.

Trends among states gaining residents have some common factors: Affordability concerns and the promise of employment stability are evidently influencing the relocation choices of many people. As people struggle to find affordable housing in the major cities that have historically been the most desirable places to live in, they are traveling farther to states where housing costs are more manageable, job opportunities are flourishing, and the overall quality of life is seemingly compelling.

From a generational standpoint, millennials are the age group most on the move, and they favour the South. Texas, in particular, saw a net influx of over 75,000 millennials in 2022, making it the top choice for young professionals, followed by Georgia. Florida, which is used to hitting the high notes with older generations, is also a top choice for 24-39 year-olds, ranking third in the U.S. for millennial preferences.

With so-called Gen Zers, the youngest generation currently entering the housing market, this cohort are close behind millennials as the second-most mobile generation in the U.S. However, Gen Zers appear to have strikingly different preferences when it comes to the states they are moving to. Recognized for their remote-friendly environments, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., are also strongly drawing in Gen Zers. Along with other popular states like North Carolina and Texas, Utah, North Dakota and Alabama are also magnets for this “iGeneration”.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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