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Americans are on the Move

Americans are on the move - relocating Americans Ten Most Populous States - relocating Americans

According to the latest official annual estimates and major moving company reports for 2022, more Americans are retiring or relocating to Southern states and mid-sized cities. Those trends seem likely to continue in 2023 and beyond.


According to recently released estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation’s population increased by 0.4% for the one-year period ending on July 1, 2022. That’s an addition of 1,256,003 new Americans and an all-time high for the total U.S. population of 333,287,557.

California remains the most populous state but has declined in population. The biggest winner, according to the new estimates, is Texas. Already America’s second most populous state, Texas tops the 30-million mark for the first time. Florida remains at No. 3 on the list with a population of just over 22 million, up nearly 417,000 during the year.

The other two Top 10 most populous states—Georgia and North Carolina—also show significant growth in new residents during the year and are approaching a total population of 11 million each. Arizona, South Carolina, and Tennessee are additional states with noteworthy numeric population gains. Delaware‘s population is also growing by 1.4%, and four Western states—Idaho, South Dakota, Montana, and Utah—show population increases of between 1.8% and 1.2%.

Top 10 States in Numeric Growth: 2021 to 2022 - relocating Americans Percent Change in State Population - relocating Americans

United Van Lines

United Van Lines released its 46th Annual National Movers Study on January 2, 2023. According to the survey of company customers that accompanied the study, Americans aged 55 and older accounted for more than 55% of all United inbound moves in 2022. Among the primary motivations, the survey results showed a roughly even split among three reasons for moving: retirement/change of lifestyle, new job/company transfer, and a desire to be closer to family members.

United Vans Lines National Movers Study 2022 - relocating AmericansWhile Vermont, Oregon, and Rhode Island topped the list with inbound moves (versus outbound moves) of greater than 65%, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Delaware each had inbound moves of 61%. Among all states with an inbound moves percentage of 51% or higher, Texas and Florida had by far the greatest total number of inbound moves, followed in order by North Carolina, Washington, Virginia, Georgia, Arizona, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

The United Van Lines study also listed the top inbound moving destinations by Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), which include city suburbs or more than one contiguous municipality. Wilmington, NC, was the clear winner in the United study, with an inbound move rate of 81%. Three other North Carolina MSAs (Hickory, Greensboro-Winston Salem, and Charlotte-Gastonia) also made the Top 25 list for the percentage of inbound moves.

Myrtle Beach, SC, was tied for No. 4 on the list with Punta Gorda, FL, both with an inbound moving percentage of 72%. Five additional Florida MSAs were included among the Top 25 with 65% or higher inbound percentages.


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