It’s not shocking that, when people can live and work anywhere they want, they are migrating towards the fun and sun! The proof is in the population gains all across the Sun Belt. Goodbye snow storms and hello sandy beaches.
In 2022, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) used the change of address data from the United States Postal Service to create a map of migration. This data allowed them to answer questions like: which states are seeing the biggest increase in residents? Which states are losing residents? And, which cities were the most popular to move to?
The trend realized in the years since the COVID-19 pandemic, of remote workers moving in search of space and affordability, has continued. States like New York, California and Illinois saw the largest loss of residents in 2022. Other states, like Florida, Texas and the Carolinas, saw the largest population gains in 2022.
The Lone Star state gained 230,961 residents in 2022, a total gain of 1.6% of their total population. Houston’s metro area saw the largest inbound move rate in the state at 55.7%, but the other major cities like Dallas, Austin and San Antonio also saw positive increases in their population.
While California did manage to hold onto its title of ‘Most populous state,’ it also lost 343,230 residents in the process. For residents remaining in California, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose remain among the most popular cities. They each had positive move rates for 2022 despite the state’s overall loss of residents.
Some 318,855 people moved to Florida in 2022, a population gain of almost 2%. Cities like Ocala and Tallahassee were among the most popular ones for movers. Deltona and Miami also saw a large influx of residents.
Home to Chicago, one of the nation’s largest cities, Illinois lost 141,656 residents in 2022. That’s a population loss of 0.8%. While a change of less than 1% may not seem like a lot, this population decrease can be felt in the local housing market. Since 2019, the city of Chicago has only reported 1.4% increase in inbound migration. The recent trend in remote working has caused even more to flee the city in search of wide open spaces.
Agents working in these states or metros should keep an eye on the migration trends moving forward to assess their pricing strategies and obtain new business as homebuyers move to the area.