Moving Industry Trends 2023

By: Daniel Bortz Last Updated: Sep 20, 2023

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Explore the latest moving trends in the U.S. for 2023: retiree hotspots, population shifts, relocation benefits, and more. Discover where people are moving and the changing dynamics of the housing market.

Moving Industry Trends 2023

Moving patterns in the U.S. are frequently changing—and 2023 is no exception. At a glance: the hottest city for retirees is Mesa, Arizona; New York recently saw the largest outflow of residents; and, amid a broad push to get employees back to the office, a growing number of companies are offering relocation benefits.

Here, a dive into the latest trends that are shaking up the moving industry.

Where people are moving

Texas experienced the largest population increase between July 2021 and July 2022, according to U.S. Census Bureau.

Here are the top 10 states based on numeric growth.

Top 10 States in Numeric Growth: 2021 to 2022

Rank Geographic Area April 1, 2020 (Estimates Base) July 1, 2021 July 1, 2022 Numeric Growth
1 Texas 29,145,428 29,558,864 30,029,572 470,708
2 Florida 21,538,226 21,828,069 22,244,823 416,754
3 North Carolina 10,439,414 10,565,885 10,698,973 133,088
4 Georgia 10,711,937 10,788,029 10,912,876 124,847
5 Arizona 7,151,507 7,264,877 7,359,197 94,320
6 South Carolina 5,118,429 5,193,266 5,282,634 89,368
7 Tennessee 6,910,786 6,968,351 7,051,339 82,988
8 Washington 7,705,247 7,740,745 7,785,786 45,041
9 Utah 3,271,614 3,339,113 3,380,800 41,687
10 Idaho 1,839,092 1,904,314 1,939,033 34,719

Another migration pattern: 25% of Americans who moved in 2022 relocated from a major city to the suburbs, according to a Home Bay survey.

The majority of U.S. moves were short distance, with 60% of movers staying within the same county, a Brookings Institution analysis found.

Where people are moving from

Census Bureau data also shows that New York saw the largest population decline of any state between July 2021 and July 2022. It’s followed closely by California and Illinois.

Top 10 States in Numeric Decline: 2021 to 2022

Rank Geographic Area April 1, 2020 (Estimates Base) July 1, 2021 July 1, 2022 Numeric Decline
1 New York 20,201,230 19,857,492 19,677,151 -180,341
2 California 39,538,245 39,142,991 39,029,342 -113,649
3 Illinois 12,812,545 12,686,469 12,582,032 -104,437
4 Pennsylvania 13,002,689 13,012,059 12,972,008 -40,051
5 Louisiana 4,657,749 4,627,098 4,590,241 -36,857
6 Oregon 4,237,291 4,256,301 4,240,137 -16,164
7 West Virginia 1,793,755 1,785,526 1,775,156 -10,370
8 Maryland 6,177,213 6,174,610 6,164,660 -9,950
9 Mississippi 2,961,288 2,949,586 2,940,057 -9,529
10 Ohio 11,799,374 11,764,342 11,756,058 -8,284

Where retirees are moving

Florida is the most popular state for retirees, according to a recent study of U.S. Census Bureau migration data. On the other end of the spectrum is California, which experienced a net loss of 71,828 in 2021.

The hottest city for retirees is Mesa, Arizona, which welcome 4,967 new residents age 60 and older from other states in 2021.

Low-income home buyers are less likely to leave big cities

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, low-income home buyers are 25% less likely than moderate- and high-income home buyers to move out of the top 25 largest metro areas, recent Freddie Mac research shows. Low-income buyers also moved shorter distances, on average, than moderate- and high-income home buyers.

Home buyers are moving farther than ever

The median distance home buyers moved between July 2021 and June 2022 was 50 miles, a record high and three-fold jump from a median of 15 miles from 2018-2021, according to a National Association of Realtors survey. Nearly half (48%) of purchases were in small towns and rural areas.

The majority of baby boomers aren’t downsizing

Despite common perception, half of baby boomers moved to a larger home in 2022, according to a Home Bay survey. Only about one-third (31%) of boomers downsized.

More companies are footing the bill for relocation services

On ZipRecruiter, job postings that mention relocation benefits have more recently doubled to 3.8 million, after falling under two million in 2020, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Colorado is the least affordable state for renters

Cities in the Centennial State, with its magnificent mountains and abundant activities for outdoor enthusiasts, have seen the biggest increase in rent prices over the past three years, according to a recent Moving Feedback study. Colorado’s major cities saw rent prices jump 54% since 2020.

West Virginia is the most affordable state for renters

West Virginia’s cities have seen the lowest increase in rent prices over the last three years, with just a 12% increase in rent prices since 2020. a recent Moving Feedback study found.

Where Americans Dream of Moving

If money were no object, nearly 20% of Americans said they’d like to move to Los Angeles, a recent Home Bay survey found. Atlanta, GA and Austin, TX were next on the list of most desirable cities to live if money wasn’t an object.

Millennials move significantly less than earlier generations of young adults

In 2016, only 20% of Millennial 25- to 35-year-olds reported having lived at a different address one year earlier, the lowest of any generation when they were at that age, according to the Pew Research Center.

Nearly six in 10 young adults live within 10 miles of where they grew up

Most young adults don’t move far from their childhood home, according to a recent study by researchers at the U.S. Census Bureau and Harvard University. 58% of adults aged 26 said they’ve moved less than 10 miles of where they were raised,

More Americans are moving into dangerous wildfire zones

A growing number of Americans are migrating to fire-prone areas, a recent study published recently in the journal Frontiers in Human Dynamics found. The study analyzed county-level population and net migration estimates from the Census Bureau for the period from 2010 to 2020.

Americans are moving less frequently than they did in the 1960s

From 1964 to 2019, the percentage of Americans moving each year fell from 20.3% to 9.8%, according to a recent research paper by Rice University.