If cable taught us anything about the American dream, it’s that leaving your hometown for a sunny coastline or urban playground is a rite of passage for many young adults. Will Smith only became the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air after moving from Philadelphia to California, and Carrie Bradshaw didn’t start taking over the island of Manhattan until she fled Connecticut in her late teens.
So is this part of the American dream still relevant today? Over 4 million Americans moved to a new state in 2018, yet state-to-state migration is slowing down compared to other generations. We took a look at the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data to determine which states Americans are leaving, and where they are heading.
Our results revealed a massive exodus from both the concrete jungle where dreams are made and the land of milk and honey in favor of states with more affordable housing costs.
Here are the top states people are moving to:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
We also found that:
- Americans are leaving the Northeast and heading to the South
- Florida is the most popular destination for cross-country movers
- Californians are headed to Arizona and Texas
In recent months, COVID-19 has brought even more change to American migration. A report in the New York Times found that since the virus befell the state, New Yorkers are fleeing in droves. This migration out of New York was a growing trend before the pandemic and appears to be accelerating further today, although long-term impacts from this unprecedented event remain to be seen.