Austin alone sees a net increase of about 60 people a day moving to the city, although some of those are from elsewhere in the state. Still, Texas is growing precipitously as a whole. Housing affordability compared to similarly-sized urban areas is a big draw, and while the low price of gas has hurt the oil industry, Texas has enough other things going for it—like tech—to keep people coming. Of all Texas movers, 53.7% were inbound.
14. Washington, D.C.
13. Rhode Island
Rhode Island might not lead the list of states seeing a population boom, but when it comes to domestic migration, more people are moving in than out of the state. Perhaps some of that net increase is due to the state’s overhaul of its income tax structure in 2010. Previously, it had been considerably higher than its New England neighbors.
In 2014, Florida surpassed New York in terms of population. A lot of this seems to be retirees. Florida dominates the list of cities with the oldest populations. This might also have something to do with the state also leading the nation in fraud and identity theft complaints—older Americans are often a target.
Arizona’s warm sunny weather is a major selling point for people considering a move. The state is well-known for its quick population growth. It ranks #8 out of all states in percentage change since 2010. But even looking at just domestic movers, 55.2% of them are headed into, rather than out of, the state.
You may be surprised to learn that a majority of Alabama movers are headed into the state rather than leaving. But if you ask the workers, they wouldn’t be surprised at all. With a heavy presence in banking (Regions & BBVA) and aerospace (US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville), there are plenty of high-paying jobs to be had.
Colorado has one of our least-expensive cities to raise a family, and Boulder is one of the single best places to start a business, all in one of the most business-friendly states in the nation. The weather, the skiing, the economic growth (and sure, maybe the legal weed) are all enormous draws that could explain why Colorado is seeing a growth in out-of-state movers taking up residence.
8. North Carolina
7. South Carolina
Washington state is ranked just above Arizona when it comes to population growth rate. The biggest reason people are moving into The Evergreen State is the job opportunities. With the rise of tech companies (Microsoft and Amazon) as well as other major international companies like Starbucks and Boeing, employees are looking to strike it rich.
5. South Dakota
South Dakota is somewhat of a sleeper when it comes to the national stage. While it doesn’t have the largest population, what it does offer is a 3.5% unemployment rate (compared to the U.S.’s 4.1%). It’s also the second-best state for female entrepreneurs, which might be why 60.6% of the state’s movers are inbound.
Nevada has historically been a big draw for residents coming from different states. While the state was more balanced during the economic crisis, it's starting to see more people move in than out. Lower housing prices than neighboring California are a possible factor, and the entertainment industry and tax situation make it more appealing to retirees.
Idaho sees 63.4% of its state-to-state movers settling within its borders. A similar study conducted by Atlas Van Lines shows that many of those new arrivals are seniors. Affordability is a commonly-cited factor, as are the low crime rate and the quality of medical care. The Idaho Statesman suggests (in a somewhat defensive-sounding op-ed) that despite low education and wage statistics, a relatively hands-off government might be an appealing factor for many people.
Inbound Oregon movers make up 64.7% of United Van Lines' trips across the Oregon state line, bumping it down to second place after being tops for two years in a row. The most obvious answer to "why" is "hipster migration," but, of course, there are more thoughtful answers. Innovative urban planning is one, as is the balance of city life with rural access and a thriving cultural scene. You can add to the list the high minimum wage.
Vermont relocations lean heavily towards people coming in. In fact, it’s the highest rate in the country. Those people tend to come from nearby states and are generally looking for something quieter than the urban hubs of the Northeast. The state has great education rankings, next to no crowding, and the lowest crime rate in the country—quite a feat considering it also has one of the lowest populations, meaning it wouldn't take much crime to drive up that average.