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Where Are Americans Moving? Top 3 Most Popular Moving Destinations

Where Are Americans Moving? Top 3 Most Popular Moving Destinations
3 min. read

An integral part of the American way of life, moving has historically tapped into the desire to improve one’s quality of life. STORAGECafé, a national storage marketplace, recently issued a report that looks into the latest domestic migration trends.

STORAGECafé analyzed the latest Census migration data and partnered with United Van Lines for information on costs. The report identified last year’s preferred domestic migration routes, as well as average costs associated with moving. Whether in the pursuit of more lucrative job markets, better academic opportunities or simply a change of cultural scene, more than 30 million Americans sought residence in a different state in 2018.

The states that welcomed the most newcomers – Florida, Texas, and California – also saw the highest number of Americans relocating to other states. Even with galloping home prices and overcrowding, some metropolises never lose their appeal as they still offer attractive opportunities for jobs and overall lifestyle.

Top 10 States for Inbound and Outbound Migration

Let’s see who moves into the U.S. states with the most mobile populations.


Florida boasted the highest number of newcomers in 2018 – 590,000 brand new Floridians! Roughly 11% of them originated from New York State – whether on account of the rising cost of living or simply the weather, about 63,000 New Yorkers made the Sunshine State their new home. For this move, they had to foot a bill of between $3,900 and $4,300, according to the data.

Since larger metro areas such as Miami attract the most residents, it is worth taking a look at the housing market. With a median house price close to $410,000, Miami offers attractive home-buying value compared to New York City. Prices in The Big Apple’s most popular boroughs are higher than the median house value in Miami. For instance, Manhattan median home prices can reach $1,207,500 whereas median prices for Brooklyn homes average around $725,000. Similarly, a 10X10 storage unit in NYC – which comes in handy when moving – costs on average $172, according to a Yardi Matrix report. Meanwhile, costs for self-storage in Miami range around $131.


Image: jo Crebbin / Shutterstock.com


With almost 564,000 new residents in 2018, Texas comes second among the most desirable migration destinations. Compared to the high influx of newcomers, 81,355 moved out of the state. In a similar vein to Florida, the Lone Star State offers low taxes which, unsurprisingly, attracted a whopping 86,000 Californians in 2018 alone. The moving costs for such a transition vary between $3,700 and $4,100. As always, popular metro areas such as Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth attract most newcomers. Anyone looking to buy a house in Dallas would have to pay $443,200, on average, as compared to the higher housing prices in Los Angeles, which averaged $600,000. Additionally, renting storage units in the Lone Star State can be good value—for example, while it costs roughly $93 for self-storage in Dallas, you’d need to pay about double that in Los Angeles.


Image: A G Baxter / Shutterstock.com


California has seen increased outbound migration, but it also ranked third among the states welcoming the most newcomers. Of the 500,000 new residents, about 38,000 originated from Washington State. The report estimated that relocation costs to Los Angeles vary between $3,700 and $4,100, not including packing or insurance. Despite Los Angeles’ median house value being close to the housing prices in Seattle, many Washington State residents choose the Los Angeles options, attracted by job opportunities. While Seattle storage units go on average for $153, the cost of self-storage space in Los Angeles for a standard unit is $183.


Despite the usually unpredictable nature of moving trends, a constant remains – the pursuit of more desirable living standards stimulates interstate migration. Even though mobility rates have decreased compared to other periods in the past – a statistic motivated mostly by the growing age of the population, who are now less likely to change residence – large metro areas such as those mentioned above still attract Americans from other states. Both originating and destination states help to better define the migration flow. The balance of incentives such as job opportunities, financial prospects, favorable real estate markets, and even attractive tax perks drive Americans to move.

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