Moving Tips & Resources

2023 Atlas Migration Patterns Study: Top States People Are Moving To And From

Where are you moving? Learn more about The 2023 Atlas® Migration Patterns Study or reach out to Daryl Flood about a local, long distance or international moving quote.

The annual Atlas Van Lines Migration Patterns Study answers the question each year, “where are Americans moving?”

In the 30th edition of the Atlas study, Americans are influenced by changes in the economy, housing, and job markets. These factors created a moving ecosystem in 2023 that saw more American’s prioritizing affordability over all else.  

Current headlines quote homeowners as feeling “locked in” with lower mortgage rates, and therefore not buying new homes with a current nationwide average of 7%. According to Freddie Mac, as of October 2023 customers had accrued a total of $800 billion in savings, with a little over half (60%) of mortgage holders having a rate of 4% or under.

With that kind of savings, would Americans even find incentive to move at all? And if so, where would they go?

Atlas 2023 moving data shows:

  • Hawaii was once again a sought-after destination, with 77% of the shipments being inbound.
  • Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Washington are good states for business.
  • The United States’ most affordable states have seen high rates of outbound moves, particularly in the Midwest, such as Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Ohio.

What States Are Most Americans Moving Away From?

The 10 U.S. states with the highest percentage of outbound moves in 2023 were:

  1. Illinois
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. Louisiana
  4. Minnesota
  5. Indiana
  6. Oregon
  7. Iowa
  8. Mississippi
  9. New York
  10. Ohio

Pennsylvania’s rate of outbound moves dramatically increased in 2023, as did Oregon’s. Meanwhile, the exodus from Indiana has seemed to slow, although it remains high on the outbound list.

What Top States Are Most Americans Moving To?
The 10 U.S. states with the highest percentage of inbound moves in 2023 were:

  1. Maine
  2. North Carolina
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Montana
  5. Washington
  6. Arkansas
  7. Florida
  8. New Mexico
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Texas

North Carolina and Maine remain top-desired states from 2022 with New Hampshire making the largest jump from 10th to third.

Why are People Moving?

In a Redfin study based on the searches of users, homebuyers moving from one metro area to another is coming down from an August 2023 peak as affordability becomes an increasingly important factor in home buying, and more companies are calling workers back into the office for full-time or hybrid work.

For those who are relocating, the most popular destinations are relatively affordable places like Spokane, WA, Sacramento, CA and Las Vegas, NA.

Previously popular hot spots like Austin, Texas are seeing a decline in homebuyers for the first time in years, as they are priced out and searching for more affordable pastures.

Many homebuyers relocating to Austin were moving long distance from bigger, less affordable cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. However, with the ever rising home prices in Austin, this means that the price gap between Austin and those larger cities is smaller than it used to be. Those in search of homeownership from these areas may be looking elsewhere for a better deal.

Monthly mortgage payments have doubled from what they were prior to 2020, and the current typical monthly payment for Austin’s median-priced home at $455,000 with the average mortgage rate of 7.63% is $3,890 at the end of 2023, nearly double 2019’s typical payment of $2,136 (median sale price of $320,000; average mortgage rate of 3.94%).

San Antonio and Corpus Christi are two of the three most popular destinations for users moving away from Austin with the third being Denver, CO. 

What Neighborhoods Are People Moving Into?

With homeowners holding onto existing real estate, homebuilding has increased.

According to Redfin data, 31.8% of U.S. single-family homes for sale in the last quarter of 2023 were new construction, which was the highest level of any fourth quarter on record. 

Knowing they have an edge in the market, homebuilders have been capitalizing on the lack of inventory.  They’re offering sizable discounts and concessions to attract available buyers and offload inventory, including money for mortgage rate buydowns. 

However, even with those discounts, roughly 42%  of new single-family homes that sold in 2022 went for $500,000 or more, up from 30% in 2021 and 18% in 2020.

Retirees are Fueling the Market

More than 338,000 U.S. residents welcomed in retirement with a new home in 2023, the highest number in three years with a 44 percent jump from 2022. Affordability is always a driver for retirees on fixed incomes, and current pressures from high inflation and an unsure stock market has older Americans relocating to a cheaper or more tax-friendly state.

  • Taxes and climate affect retirees moving choices. According to SmartAsset’s report on U.S. Census data, Nevada, Texas and Florida took six of the top 10 spots for where retirees are moving. These states represent areas with warm climates and no state income tax, which likely lures in retirees looking to stretch their budget further when it comes to lifestyle and home purchases.
  • Florida continues to draw in retirees. Florida netted more than 78,000 senior residents from other states, according to the SmartAsset report.
  • In a dramatic reversal, Charlotte, NC dropped more than 100 spots. The Queen City dropped from No. 6 to No. 130 in a single year. Charlotte had a net gain of 1,290 residents 60 and older, but according to recent data, 3,150 retirees left Charlotte while only about 1,860 moved inbound from other states.

Where Are Americans Moving Internationally?

According to a 2020 State Department estimate, the number of US citizens who live outside the US is about 9 million. While those are Americans already living abroad, 15% polled by Gallup in 2022 said they wanted to leave the U.S. permanently.

With moving abroad becoming more and more popular thanks to social media influencers and a healthy dose of House Hunters International, the majority of those looking to move are craving a new adventure, according to research by The Washington Post. With remote work opportunities becoming more attainable than ever, many countries have rolled out what are being called “digital nomad visas” to attract those who aren’t tied to a specific location for work.

For 2023, Atlas® World Group International reported the following top inbound and outbound countries for overseas relocation:

  1. Japan
  2. South Korea
  3. Germany
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Bahrain
  6. Australia
  7. Canada
  8. Kuwait
  9. India
  10. Jordan

2023 Top 10 Outbound

  1. Japan
  2. South Korea
  3. Kuwait
  4. Germany
  5. Saudi Arabia
  6. Puerto Rico
  7. Greece
  8. India
  9. Denmark
  10. United Kingdom

No matter where you’re moving next, you can depend on Daryl Flood. Learn more about Atlas’ 2023 Migration Patterns Study or reach out to Daryl Flood about a local, long distance or international move.