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These 10 states lured the most movers last year and No. 1 is unexpected

These 10 states lured the most movers last year— and No. 1 is unexpected
Maine saw the highest share of inbound movers in 2023, for reasons that could include access to nature and more living space.Andrew Siegel/Shutterstock
  • Americans love to know where people are moving — partly to get inspiration for their own lives.
  • Moving company Atlas Van Lines tracked the states with the biggest share of inbound movers in 2023.

Americans are fascinated by where people move in search of a better life.

Atlas Van Lines, a major moving company that facilitates about 80,000 relocations a year, tracks data on the number of moves into a state compared with the number of moves out.

It calculated the states with the biggest shares of inbound movers in 2023.

Take the numbers with a grain of salt: Atlas' ranking of the places people are leaving doesn't always align with Census-derived population data on which states are growing and which are shrinking. For example, South Carolina was the fastest-growing state from July 2022 to 2023, but doesn't appear on Atlas' list.

Atlas doesn't collect information on its customers' motivations for moving, so we've compiled some possible reasons people would choose each of the top 10 states. Reasons can range from a lower cost of living to better weather.

Read on for the top 10 relocation hotspots of 2023, from Texas to Maine.

10. Texas

10. Texas
Inbound movers are opting for smaller cities like Katy, Texas over major metropolitan areas like Dallas or Austin.      simonkr/Getty Images

Population change from 2022 to 2033: 473,453 new residents

Percent of inbound moves in 2023: 56%

Percent of outbound moves in 2023: 44%

Possible reasons: Lower cost of living, no individual income tax, better weather

Californians in particular are moving to Texas because it's relatively inexpensive; some are able to afford a bigger home in Texas. The state's smaller cities are particularly attractive to movers.

9. Washington, D.C.

9. Washington, D.C.
People are flocking to the capital for better jobs, networking opportunities, and even the snowy winters.      f11photo/Shutterstock

Population change from 2022 to 2033: 8,023 new residents

Percent of inbound moves in 2023: 57%

Percent of outbound moves in 2023: 43%

Possible reasons: Jobs in government agencies or many colleges and universities, museums, culture

Ursula Lauriston, who moved to DC to work for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, describes the city's ambitious residents, dating scene, and snowy winters.

8. New Mexico

8. New Mexico
New Mexico has become a popular destination for its beautiful vistas, national parks, and affordability.      gmeland/Shutterstock

Population change from 2022 to 2033: 895 new residents

Percent of inbound moves in 2023: 57%

Percent of outbound moves in 2023: 43%

Possible reasons: Beautiful landscape, national parks, lower cost of living relative to some nearby states

Albuquerque, New Mexico's largest city, is "the last affordable city in the Southwest," according to local real-estate agent Skip Adams, who grew up there, moved away, then moved back. Adams now advises others looking to relocate to Albuquerque.

7. Florida

7. Florida
The Sunshine State is new hub for Gen Z-ers and retirees alike…and it might have something to do with the appeal of Disney World.      Joseph Prezioso/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Population change from 2022 to 2033: 365,205 new residents

Percent of inbound moves in 2023: 58%

Percent of outbound moves in 2023: 42%

Possible reasons: Better weather, no state income tax, the beach, Disney World

It's not just retirees: Some Gen Zers, born between 1997 and 2012, have moved to Tampa and are finding it walkable, affordable, and fun.

6. Arkansas

6. Arkansas
Bentonville, where Walmart is based, is becoming a hotspot for young professionals and tourists.      Visit Bentonville

Population change from 2022 to 2033: 21,328 new residents

Percent of inbound moves in 2023: 58%

Percent of outbound moves in 2023: 42%

Possible reasons: Cheaper homes and property taxes, access to nature

Young, outdoorsy couples and families have recently taken an interest in Arkansas. Parts of the state even offer money to people to move here. Plus, Bentonville, where Walmart is based, is having a renaissance.

5. Washington

5. Washington
Washington is cheaper alternative to California with many of the same draws — a plethora of opportunities for outdoor activities and tech hubs like Seattle.      Kirk Fisher/Shutterstock

Population change from 2022 to 2033: 28,403 new residents

Percent of inbound moves in 2023: 59%

Percent of outbound moves in 2023: 41%

Possible reasons: Cheaper than California, a robust tech scene, hiking, skiing

A Yelp product manager moved from San Francisco to a small town in Washington state and found his mortgage in Washington is half as much as his SF rent.

4. Montana

4. Montana
Between the low cost of living and low tax rates, residents are getting more bang for their buck in Montana.      Jacob Boomsma/Shutterstock

Population change from 2022 to 2033: 9,934 new residents

Percent of inbound moves in 2023: 59%

Percent of outbound moves in 2023: 41%

Possible reasons: Access to nature, lower cost of living, wide open space

A YouTuber who moved from New York City to Montana said that she could afford to move into a five-bedroom house and that overall her money goes further.

3. New Hampshire

3. New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a haven for college grads looking for affordable housing and job opportunities in the growing tech scene.      Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock

Population change from 2022 to 2033: 3,051 new residents

Percent of inbound moves in 2023: 60%

Percent of outbound moves in 2023: 40%

Possible reasons: Houses that are more affordable than in neighboring states, access to nature

A smaller New Hampshire city is a growing tech hub, while New England draws many recent college graduates.

2. North Carolina

2. North Carolina
Job opportunities, affordable housing, and good weather — North Carolina seems to have it all.      Pawel Gaul/ Getty Images

Population change from 2022 to 2033: 139,526 new residents

Percent of inbound moves in 2023: 64%

Percent of outbound moves in 2023: 36%

Possible reasons: More affordable homes, more space, better weather, and proximity to both the mountains and the beach

People who have moved to North Carolina recently told BI they were motivated by job opportunities and a lower cost of living than in some other states.

1. Maine

1. Maine
With beautiful natural parks, like Acadia National Park, it's no wonder that Maine is drawing residents looking for access to nature.      Michael Ver Sprill/Getty Images

Population change from 2022 to 2033: 6,384 new residents

Percent of inbound moves in 2023: 64%

Percent of outbound moves in 2023: 36%

Possible reasons: Access to nature, neighborly atmosphere, more space, better weather

People who have moved to Maine recently have told Business Insider they like being surrounded by nature and the extra space and joys of more rural living.




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