The Top States People are Moving to and from in 2023

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There have been several notable migration trends among U.S. citizens in recent history. In 2021, 8.4% of people lived in a different residence than one year ago, down from 9.3% in 2020. Despite the nation’s mover rate hitting its lowest point since 1948, the country is seeing new and significant trends among those who are moving. 

The top 5 states people are moving to

In recent years, some of the states with the greatest influx of new residents (also known as “in-migration”) include:

  • Texas: Texas has a strong economy and a growing population. Its diverse range of industries including energy, healthcare and tech, continue to attract new residents to the state. USPS change-of-address data revealed that the Texas population grew by 12,700 in 2021, making it one of the top states for inbound movers in recent years. Based on Montway Auto Transport’s vehicle delivery reports, Texas saw the largest increase in vehicles being delivered to the state over the last three years. Between 2020 and 2022, Montway’s vehicle drop offs to Texas increased by 83.2%.
  • Florida: The tropical climate, tourist attractions and recreational opportunities are just a few reasons why so many people are moving to Florida. Between 2020 and 2022, the number of vehicles Montway transported to Florida increased by 71.3%, signaling a significant uptick in the number of people moving to the Sunshine State. Florida has grown significantly in the healthcare and technology industries, which has attracted younger people to the state looking for job opportunities. It also tops the list of states where retirees are moving.
  • Colorado: Colorado has a strong economy and a high quality of life, making it a popular destination for people of all ages. In addition to its growing opportunities for work in tech and healthcare, the state is also famous for its outdoor recreational opportunities. In 2022, Colorado entered Montway’s top 10 states with the most vehicle deliveries.
  • North Carolina: On the East Coast, North Carolina stands out with a diverse economy and lower cost of living compared to other neighboring states. The finance and technology industries in the state continue to expand, contributing to North Carolina’s 64% inbound moves in 2022.
  • Arizona: When compared to other states in the southwest, Arizona’s cost of living is noticeably lower, while also maintaining a strong economy. The warm climate allows for year-round outdoor activities and a number of growing industries boast job opportunities for new residents. Arizona saw a large increase in vehicle deliveries in recent years. Between 2020 and 2021 the number of vehicles Montway delivered to the state increased by 40.2%, and again by 13.1% from 2021 to 2022.

Montway data showing the top 5 states with an increase in vehicle drop offs (2020-2022):

State2020 to 20212021 to 2022Overall increase
Texas46% 25.4%83.2%
North Carolina37.8%28.2%76.7%

The top 5 states people are leaving

In recent years, some of the states that have seen the most exiting migration include:

  • New York: While being a world-leading hub for culture and business, New York’s high cost of living and high state tax have contributed to residents exiting the state. Between 2020 and 2022, Montway’s vehicle pickups in New York rose by 58.7%. New York has also seen some decline in industries such as manufacturing and finance, which spurred over 75,000 families to leave the state in 2022.  
  • Illinois: For the ninth year in a row, Illinois has held its spot as the top state people are moving out of. The state’s increasingly high cost of living, high state tax rate, budget deficits and slow-growing economy have all contributed to its 65% out-migration rate. Many residents say they are leaving Illinois in search of better housing and job opportunities, according to Between 2020 and 2022, Montway’s records show a 64% increase in vehicles being picked up from Illinois.
  • California: The moderate climate and booming tech industry aren’t enough to keep many California residents in the state. Many cite the ever-increasing cost of living and housing prices as reasons why they are leaving the area. Job opportunities in the manufacturing industry have declined, and the growing availability of remote work opportunities has led California residents to seek homes in other states. In 2022, 63% of moves in California were outbound. Similar to Illinois, California residents arranged transport to ship their vehicles out of California in increasing numbers between 2020-2023. The number of vehicles Montway picked up in California rose by 62.8% during that time.
  • Connecticut: Connecticut has a high cost of living and a high state tax rate, which have made it less attractive for some people. It has also seen a decline in industries such as finance and insurance, which have contributed to moving exits. 
  • New Jersey: A relatively high state tax and cost of living have resulted in more New Jersey residents leaving the state. It has also seen a decline in industries such as pharmaceuticals and manufacturing, which have contributed to the exodus. Based on Montway’s vehicle pickup reports, there was a 61.3% increase in New Jersey residents transporting their vehicles between 2020 and 2022.

Montway data showing the top 5 states with an increase in vehicle pickups (2020-2022): 

State2020 to 20212021 to 2022Overall increase
Washington40.9% 36.7%92.7%

Are you one of the many movers making their way to a new state this year? Make sure you’re prepared with these 6 steps for moving out of state for the first time.

What are the top reasons people moved in 2022?

Moving trends are driven by a variety of factors, including the availability of jobs, the desire for a warmer climate and the lower cost of living. Some of the most common reasons people in the United States are moving include:

  • Work: Many people move for job opportunities or to be closer to their place of work. Some individuals and families may also need to move for military assignments and a change of station. With the recent widespread adoption of remote work, people are also relocating since they are no longer tied to a physical location for their job. 
  • Family: Moving closer to family is a common reason for relocating, particularly for individuals with aging parents and parents that want to be closer to their children and grandchildren. In a 2021 survey conducted by United Van Lines, 31.8% of respondents said they were moving to be closer to family. 
  • Lifestyle preferences: Desirable climates, recreational options and specific cultural and social atmospheres are a factor for many people that move.
  • Housing: Affordable housing is a significant motivator for moving. People often cite the high cost of living as a reason to leave one state and the low cost of living as the reason for moving to another state. Similarly, many folks relocate to a new state so they can upgrade to a larger or nicer home.
  • Education: A desire for school districts with a better reputation or proximity to a particular school or university motivates families and students alike to relocate. 
  • Retirement: Retirement communities and locations with warm climates are a big draw for older adults who are preparing for retirement. Some retirees known as snowbirds will move between locations to avoid unfavorable weather.

No matter why you find yourself relocating, Montway Auto Transport can help make the move easier. Montway’s relocation services will match you with the best carrier for your vehicle(s) and work with your schedule to make the move as smooth as possible. We’ve also created a handy guide to help you prepare and answer some of your most common moving questions.

What are the demographics of the people moving?

There is no specific demographic that is driving migration trends in the United States. People of all ages, races and income levels move for a variety of reasons, including work, family and lifestyle preferences.

However, some demographic trends can be observed. For example, younger people are more likely to move for job opportunities, while older people are more likely to move for retirement or to be closer to family.

In terms of income, people at both ends of the earnings spectrum are more likely to move. Lower-income individuals may move to areas with more affordable costs of living or to be closer to job opportunities, while high-earning individuals may move to areas with prestigious schools, an abundance of recreational activities and a high quality of life.

The rise of remote work has had a significant impact on moving and migration trends in the United States and beyond. With the increasing availability of online communication and collaboration tools, many people have the option to work remotely, either on a full-time or part-time basis. This has given people more flexibility to live and work from anywhere, resulting in the trend of people leaving urban areas in favor of rural or suburban locations.

It has also led to the creation of a group known as digital nomads. These workers leverage their remote work privileges to stay in various locations for brief stays. There were approximately 7.9 million digital nomads in 2019. In 2020, the number rose to 10.9 million and reached 15.5 million in 2021.

This trend has been driven by a variety of factors, including the desire for a lower cost of living, more space, and a better quality of life. Many people have also been attracted to areas with a strong sense of community and access to outdoor recreational opportunities. As a result, the recent rise in digital nomadism has created the shift we’re now seeing in moving and migration trends across the country. 

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