USA – Where People Are Moving To

People vote with their feet which makes internal migration a great measure of the attractiveness of a place. 32 million, or about 10% of the American popultion moved last year according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Though the number of people moving has been declining every year since the late 80’s, 32 million still did so in 2018. Most – about 84% – moved within the same state, of whom 62% moved within the same county.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau

Net migration causes property prices to increase. The chart below shows the change in property value from 2014-18 vs the net percent of movers moving into a specific area. Mouse-over a dot to see what area it represents. Some areas in Detroit saw house prices double without an increase in population, while areas in Connecticut saw prices decline even as people moved in, but overall the net movement of people does have an effect on property prices as shown by the red line.

In the previous post we saw that 21-34 year-olds constitute the prime rental market. The table below shows the top 60 cities/towns that people of that age group are moving into, the net percent of movers moving in and the number of miles they moved to get there.

indexUrban Area%MoversAvg Miles Moved (inbound)
0Tallahassee, FL0.74%196
1Fort Collins, CO0.46%234
2Lafayette, LA0.37%96
3Little Rock, AR0.36%104
4Norwich--New London, CT--RI0.21%123
5Phoenix--Mesa, AZ0.21%134
6Green Bay, WI0.20%79
7New Haven, CT0.17%66
8Baton Rouge, LA0.17%107
9Hartford, CT0.16%52
10Avondale--Goodyear, AZ0.16%170
11Mandeville--Covington, LA0.15%150
12Slidell, LA0.15%56
13Jacksonville, NC0.15%442
14Shreveport, LA0.15%125
15Bridgeport--Stamford, CT--NY0.15%70
16Killeen, TX0.15%510
17Waterbury, CT0.13%64
18Lexington-Fayette, KY0.13%182
19Savannah, GA0.11%309
20Pensacola, FL--AL0.11%371
21Jonesboro, AR0.10%150
22Lansing, MI0.10%151
23Des Moines, IA0.10%181
24Murfreesboro, TN0.10%281
25Lubbock, TX0.10%230
26Danbury, CT--NY0.10%137
27Greeley, CO0.09%391
28Durham, NC0.09%230
29Anchorage, AK0.09%1672
30New Orleans, LA0.09%143
31Eau Claire, WI0.09%215
32Port Arthur, TX0.09%335
33Temple, TX0.09%421
34Madison, WI0.09%253
35Kalamazoo, MI0.09%106
36Lincoln, NE0.09%219
37Sioux Falls, SD0.08%294
38Lawton, OK0.08%672
39Virginia Beach, VA0.08%335
40Battle Creek, MI0.08%201
41Omaha, NE--IA0.08%236
42Fayetteville, NC0.08%454
43Columbia, SC0.08%273
44Nashville-Davidson, TN0.08%198
45Richmond, VA0.08%120
46Sioux City, IA--NE--SD0.08%191
47Montgomery, AL0.08%159
48New Bern, NC0.07%568
49Springfield, MO0.07%147

Also discussed in the previous post was that older populations have a positive effect on house prices. The maps below show the individual areas that people are moving to at different stages of their lives. Notice the relative attraction of Florida, Arizona and Texas getting stronger as people age.