A PODS truck is driving along a freeway with three PODS portable moving containers secured to its bed. A red geometric shape with white overlaid text reads, “Southern Appalachia & Coastal Carolinas entice movers with low-key living.”

Where Are People Moving to in 2024? Hint: There’s Been a Shift!

Moving Trends

by Alex Keight Posted on May 20, 2024
It seems the dust is finally settling from the shake-up caused by the pandemic, and we’re beginning to see emerging moving patterns arise from economic and lifestyle factors rather than remote work or family obligations. The shine of the pandemic boom cities is wearing off, and many people are fleeing previously popular cities in favor of the next hot spot where the weather is mild, the cost of living is manageable, and the quality of life is satisfying. But where are people moving to in 2024 exactly? We’ve crunched the numbers and analyzed the latest set of PODS customer moving data to find out.
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Sure, this year’s report is full of fan favorites, but it’s also full of city-level surprises and insight into the moving trends to watch in the coming year. Utilizing this information from our PODS moving data, we’ll talk about what region is seeing the biggest uptick in new move-ins and why, and we’ll explain how even though the housing inventory is filling up and housing prices are slowly beginning to come back down to pre-pandemic numbers, we can’t quite call it a buyer’s market just yet. We’ll also uncover the biggest common denominator across our most moved-out of states in 2024 and dive into why people are relocating to some of the most moved-to cities of 2024. 

Before we dive into all the details, though, here’s a quick look at our key moving trend takeaways. 

The I-40 freeway running through the Appalachian Mountains toward Asheville, North Carolina.
We’re seeing more people move to the Southern Appalachian region, which includes states like North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama.

Big Picture: 2024 Moving Trend Takeaways

Where Are Most People Moving to in 2024?

We’re seeing more people move to the Southern Appalachian region, which includes states like North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. People are also continuing to move to select Florida cities and long-standing retirement favorites such as Boise, Portland (ME), and Phoenix. 

What Is the Best State To Live in 2024?

The best state to live in will depend on personal preferences and budget, of course. While we can’t speak for everyone, our latest PODS data suggests that many people have the Carolinas at the top of their lists as the best state to live in. And we can’t blame them; the low cost of living, good quality of life, access to nature, thriving food scene, and vibrant metro areas are easy to fall in love with. 

Where Are Companies Moving to in 2024?

Companies are flocking to southern sunbelt states like Texas, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina, and Tennessee, according to global data center Iron Mountain. These cities offer lower operational costs, tax incentives, and better value for employees. Popular cities for company relocations include Austin, Atlanta, Phoenix, Raleigh, and Nashville. 

Where Are Most Americans Moving to? 

Our latest data shows that Americans are still seeking out new homes in sunny southern states — but where they are unpacking is starting to shift. This year’s PODS long-distance moving data reveals that movers are swapping out previously hot move-to markets like Florida and Texas for spots in Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Georgia. More than 60 percent of the most moved-to cities were in these three southern states, with the Carolinas accounting for a whopping 30 percent of the top 20 cities with the most move-ins. 

Evening view of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with all the buildings and attractions illuminated against a sunset sky.
The Myrtle Beach, SC/Wilmington, NC, area holds onto its crown as the number one most moved-to city for the second year in a row — a PODS moving trends first.

Cities With the Highest Number of Move-Ins

Last year, Florida claimed half of the top 10 spots on our list. This year, that stat goes to a rising dynamic duo: North and South Carolina. We see Greenville-Spartanburg, SC, climbing six spots to come in 4th on our list, while North Carolina’s Charlotte, Raleigh, and Asheville made equally notable gains into the top 10 after ranking below 15th in 2023. 

Even more impressive? The Myrtle Beach, SC/Wilmington, NC, area holds onto its crown as the number one most moved-to city for the second year in a row — a PODS moving trends first! 

Why the love toward the Carolinas? Aside from offering residents a low cost of living, access to the outdoors, and a solid quality of life, it’s possible the rise in popularity of these two states is part of a larger moving trend we’re seeing centered around the Southern Appalachian region. States within this region — Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama, and South Carolina — are home to the overwhelming majority of this year’s most moved-to locations and are among some of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. We’ll take a deeper look into this trend later.

Returning outliers on our frequent flyer list include Portland (ME), Boise, and Phoenix. All three cities continue to make gains in 2024. Portland (ME) is inching up the list, moving up one spot into 12th. Boise, the number one city back in 2021, seems to be taking a steady route back up increments of four, coming in 11th this year after ranking 15th last year and 19th in 2022. Phoenix makes the biggest jump from 18th last year to 7th this year. We’ve mentioned before that these cities make for popular moves with retirees, so we aren’t surprised to see that our data shows the majority of people moving here are over 65 years old (closely followed by movers between 55 and 64 years old). As a growing number of Baby Boomers begin to reach retirement age, it’s also not surprising these destinations are repeat rankers. 

Quite a few new-from-last-year cities made their debut, including Atlanta, GA; Johnson City, TN; Huntsville, AL; Dover, DE; and Greensboro, NC. Last year’s newcomers Savannah, GA, and Raleigh, NC, made reappearances, with Raleigh making one of the largest leaps we’ve seen, moving up 14 spots from 20th to 6th. 

Here’s a full breakdown of the top 20 cities in the U.S. that have seen the most growth, with their position on our list from last year in parenthesis.

The Houston, Texas, skyline seen from across several freeways and overpasses.
Houston ranks third on our list of cities with the highest number of move-ins.

Cities With the Highest Number of Move-Ins Ranked

Rank City
1 Myrtle Beach, SC/Wilmington, NC (1st in 2023)
2 Ocala, FL (4th in 2023)
3 Houston, TX (5th in 2023)
4 Greenville-Spartanburg, SC (10th in 2023)
5 Charlotte, NC (16th in 2023)
6 Raleigh, NC (20th in 2023) 
7 Phoenix, AZ (18th in 2023)
8 Knoxville, TN (7th in 2023)
9 Jacksonville, FL (8th in 2023)
10 Asheville, NC (17th in 2023)
11 Boise, ID (15th in 2023) 
12 Portland, ME (13th in 2023)
13 Nashville, TN (11th in 2023)
14 Atlanta, GA (Not ranked in 2023)
15 Johnson City, TN (Not ranked in 2023)
16 Huntsville, AL (Not ranked in 2023)
17 Dover, DE (Not ranked in 2023)
18 Orlando, FL (3rd in 2023)
19 Savannah, GA (19th in 2023)
20 Greensboro, NC (Not ranked in 2023)

Florida Loses Its Stronghold As the Most Popular State for Move-Ins

Florida has long been a reigning champion on our list, but this year’s data shows there is trouble in paradise. New moves to the state have significantly dwindled. In 2023, Florida dominated our top 20 list with six cities, including five in the top 10. This year? Only three Floridian cities made the cut: Ocala, Jacksonville, and Orlando (the latter plummeting from 3rd to 18th on the list). Tampa Bay and Sarasota didn’t make the top 20 this year, despite previously ranking in the top 10. Also missing? Last year’s 12th most popular city, Melbourne. 

This leaves Florida tied for third on our list, alongside the newly-ranked Tennessee. 

So what happened here? The answer is likely a combination of circumstances that include predicted slowed economic growth, skyrocketing insurance rates, the effects of climate change, and an overall decrease in home value appreciation. In other words, the risks and costs of owning a home in Florida may outweigh the reasons to move to Florida.

Over the last few years, increasingly severe weather has also taken its toll on the state. High-category hurricanes, tornadoes, and waterspouts have become more and more common and have given residents a big reason to move. This extra risk has translated into wildly elevated home insurance premiums, and, according to a recent report by digital insurance agency Insurify, Florida homeowners paid an average annual home insurance premium of $10,996 in 2023, more than $8,500 higher than the national average! Insurance rates have already spiked 19.8 percent over the last two years. It’s predicted premiums in Florida will likely rise another 7 percent this year and even more in 2025 — if insurance is even available. Insurify notes that, since 2019, 12 Florida home insurance companies have declared insolvency, while Farmers Insurance stopped insuring Florida homes altogether, and other insurance companies have non-renewed policies. 

Additionally, according to Zillow, average Florida home values have only increased 3.3 percent in the last year. This is only about half as much as the previous year-over-year increase and 0.8 percent less than the 4.1 percent national increase in average home values. 

Though notably, Ocala is strongly second on our list, bucking the trend for the rest of the state. A high risk of hurricane damage and corresponding skyrocketing insurance rates along Florida’s coast may be pushing Floridian movers inland.

Colorful stacked signs in Charlotte, North Carolina, mark the distance and point the way to other U.S. cities.
Raleigh, Charlotte, and Asheville all made it into our top-10 list of most moved-to cities.

The Carolinas Are Seeing Notable New Resident Numbers

Last year, we noted the Carolinas were worth watching, and this year, they’ve not only taken the trophy as the number one spot for new moves but also broken a record. As mentioned above, the Myrtle Beach, SC/Wilmington, NC, area is officially the first spot to top our most moved-to list for two years in a row. 

North Carolina flexed its growth with three cities in the top 10: Charlotte, Raleigh, and Asheville, while Greensboro, NC, finished off our list in 20th. 

It appears movers are getting wind of the many perks of living in the Carolinas, making them two of the most moved-to states in 2024, according to our customer data. Both states offer beautiful beaches, forestlands, mountains, and vibrant metro cities. The cost of living comes in just below the national average and the quality of life is good. Four-season weather, southern charm, history, and dynamic arts, culture, food, and wine scenes are big draws, too. Residents can also look forward to a growing economy (particularly in North Carolina) and lower tax rates than many other U.S. states. 

The median age in popular cities like Charlotte and Raleigh hovers in the mid-30s, while Asheville tends to draw a slightly older demographic with a median age of 40. All three cities have a welcoming vibe, good job market, and creative flair, and they offer an affordable, above-average quality of life.

Other States With High Move-In Numbers

As mentioned above, Tennessee tied with Florida for the third most popular state for new moves. This year’s Tennessee takeover sees Knoxville, Nashville, and Johnson City in the top 20. It seems the Volunteer State is next in line for a population boom, with many of its new residents reportedly moving from California or flocking from former favorites like Florida and Texas. 

And with all of the attention Southern Appalachian region states have been drawing, we’re not surprised that Tennessee is at the top of our list. Similar to the Carolinas, movers may be drawn to the state’s four-season weather, lower-than-average cost of living, affordable housing, and good quality of life. Tennessee is also celebrated for its lack of state income tax, live music, food and drink scene, and positive economic outlook. Residents also have access to the outdoors, quality schools, and a thriving job market. Nashville, Johnson City, and Knoxville all have lower-than-average median ages in the mid-30s, making them a draw for young professionals and young families alike. 

Another southern state within the booming Appalachian region is Georgia. For the past three years, Savannah, GA, has clung to its spot toward the bottom of our list, and this year, it’s joined by the Peach State’s capital, Atlanta. Atlanta ranked 8th on our 2022 list for most new move-ins but failed to make an appearance last year. This time, “The A” placed 14th. Overall, Georgia offers residents a mild climate and affordable living — particularly for retirees — and movers are likely drawn to Atlanta and Savannah as culture-rich cities with friendly locals, too.

The Los Angeles skyline and distant mountains seen from across the rooftops of residential homes.
Los Angeles maintains its number one spot on our list of cities with the highest move-out numbers.

Where Are People Moving From? Cities With the Highest Move-Out Numbers 

Cost of living continues to be a common denominating factor when it comes to cities experiencing the most move-outs. As we’ve seen in our data from previous years, expensive metro areas have put the squeeze on residents who are fleeing to cities and states with lower overall costs of living (and, often, better access to the outdoors). 

Rising rent prices, a housing struggle, high tax rates, and overcrowding are common issues in many of the cities that top this year’s move-out list. Los Angeles returns in the number one spot, followed by major metropolitan cities (and repeat offenders) like San Francisco, Miami, and Long Island, NY (part of the greater NYC area that PODS services). Unsurprisingly, these cities are also some of the most expensive metro areas in the country. 

This year, we noticed a bigger trend in what appears to be city-level move-outs, with some regions and states only seeing big moves out of specific cities. These cities include Denver, Hartford (CT), Baltimore, Chicago, Minneapolis, Austin, Portland (OR), and Miami. 

Cities With the Highest Number of Move-Outs Ranked

Rank City
1 Los Angeles, CA (1st in 2023)
2 Northern California (San Francisco area) (2nd in 2023)
3 South Florida (Miami area) (5th in 2023)
4 Long Island, NY (Serving parts of NYC) (4th in 2023)
5 Austin, TX (Not ranked in 2023) 
6 Central Jersey, NJ (6th in 2023)
7 Chicago, IL (3rd in 2023)
8 San Diego, CA (14th in 2023)
9 Stockton-Modesto, CA (9th in 2023)
10 Hudson Valley, NY (11th in 2023)
11 Santa Barbara, CA (10th in 2023)
12 Denver, CO (18th in 2023)
13 Boston, MA (Not ranked in 2023)
14 Baltimore, MD (12th in 2023)
15 Hartford, CT (20th in 2023)
16 Portland, OR (Not ranked in 2023)
17 Fresno, CA (Not ranked in 2023)
18 Bakersfield, CA (Not ranked in 2023)
19 Northern New Jersey (Serving parts of NYC) (15th in 2023)
20 Minneapolis, MN (Not ranked in 2023)

California Continues To See the Highest Number of Move-Outs

California continues to lead the pack with the largest out-migration numbers, according to the latest PODS data. The number of California cities on our top 20 move-out list has increased from six to seven, and four California markets rank in the top 10, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Stockton-Modesto. The various locations of these cities point to the fact that this is a statewide exodus. 

Los Angeles and San Francisco are no strangers to our list by now. These two major cities continue to occupy the number one and number two spots for the third year in a row. This is the first time Fresno and Bakersfield have appeared on our list, though. 

The Golden State has a reputation for imposing high sales, income, and property taxes. The cost of living is approximately 50 percent higher in California than the national average, and housing costs can be prohibitive. For example, home values in California have increased 6.4 percent over the last year, more than 2 percent above the national average, according to Zillow. And the national average cost for a rental in the U.S. is around $1,725 for a one-bedroom apartment, but it reaches an average of $2,525 in California, $3,275 in San Francisco, and $2,700 in Los Angeles, according to RentCafe data. 

Additionally, California’s congested cities and rising rates of crime and homelessness may also be contributing factors, pushing people who are searching for more affordable cities with better access to nature and fewer crowds to make the move to areas with somewhat comparable arts, culture, and food scenes. How many people are moving out of California, specifically? In 2020, the state’s population loss was enough to cost it a congressional seat. And although population loss has lessened, it was still at a net loss of over 91,000 people in 2023. 

The Austin, Texas, skyline seen from across the river in the fall.
Declining affordability, being priced out of housing, and a lack of space for new builds are being cited as leading factors in Austin’s rising move-out numbers.

Trends Support More Move-Outs on the City Level

Austin, TX, is new to the ranks this year. During the pandemic, this Texan darling saw unprecedented growth, as tech companies and residents flocked to the booming city. When the city didn’t even scratch the top 20 of most moved-to cities last year, we had a feeling it might point to the end of this era. 

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, Austin is reporting a decline in net migration for the first time in two decades. The main reason? Declining affordability, being priced out of housing, and a lack of space for new builds are being cited as leading factors. Moving to Texas doesn’t come with the same top-tier benefits it once did. 

In addition to Austin, Fresno, and Bakersfield, three more cities are making first-time appearances on the list this year, including Boston, Portland (OR), and Minneapolis. Boston’s appearance on the list seems to be another by-product of Massachusetts’ rising cost of living. The state is in the upper top five nationally when it comes to cost of living, median home prices, tax rates, and rent prices — and Boston is leading the charge. 

Factors contributing to an exodus from the remaining newbie cities are likely driven primarily by safety concerns, as each of these cities struggles with high, above-average, and growing crime rates. On top of this, Portland (OR) struggles with an overwhelming population of unhoused residents, open use of hard drugs, and one of the highest tax rates in the country (despite having no sales tax). Similarly, crime levels in Minneapolis are compounded with soaring housing costs and high tax rates.

Cars travel along a freeway in Florida past a hurricane evacuation route sign.
Florida’s 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be a doozy, and it may lead to even higher insurance premium rate hikes or limited availability of coverage — both of which may negatively impact the state’s appeal to prospective residents.

Watchlist: Moving Trends 2024

Inflation and Interest Rates

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index went up 3.5 percent over the last year, from March 2023 to March 2024. The consumer price index tracks the cost of goods over several markets and is often used as a gauge for inflation. In May 2024, the Federal Reserve announced that it will keep key interest rates at the current 20-year high of roughly 5.3 percent — blaming the rate stagnation on ongoing inflation. 

The housing market is affected by inflation and interest rates, and the effects of high interest rates and rising costs of living will likely steer the housing market even further throughout the year. Inventory is already growing in several states. Moody Analytics reports that housing prices have already fallen in nearly half of U.S. states, citing the struggles buyers are having with securing an affordable mortgage. 

Return-to-Office Regulations

As more and more companies reinstate return-to-office mandates, it’s likely we may see more corresponding migration between cities and states. Currently, according to our latest PODS data set, the vast majority of moves PODS is facilitating in and out of the top 20 cities on our lists are not job-related moves, however. 

Severe Weather and Natural Disasters

As mentioned, climate change has impacted weather patterns, causing several areas around the U.S. to experience increased severe weather events. Cities that become more prone to these events will likely experience increased housing expenses in the form of insurance, repairs, or prevention outfitting. We’ll be keeping our eyes on areas with weather patterns and other natural disasters to see how this impacts the housing market. For example, Florida’s 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be a doozy, and it may lead to even higher insurance premium rate hikes or limited availability of coverage. 

Costs of Rentals

With interest rates at a standstill but the cost of living rising, we’re expecting to see notable rises in city rental costs. Although housing prices may continue to lower to a buyer’s market, the high interest rates will continue to make it difficult for many homebuyers to secure a mortgage. The result? The rental market is going to take off in many cities as fewer people are able to purchase homes, increasing the demand for rentals. 

While we may not be able to predict how this year’s housing market will turn out, we know you can always count on PODS to help make your move as straightforward as possible. Find out how PODS can make your move easier from start to finish with our three convenient container sizes, built-in storage options, flexible scheduling, and pay-as-you-go pricing. Need some help in the meantime? Check out the PODS Blog for moving tips, tricks, and hacks. 

Alex Keight is a writer who has lived — and moved — all over the country and the world. She is an expert at packing, whether it’s for a long-distance move or short weekend trip. When she’s not writing or on the move, Alex spends her time giving her cat booty pats, cooking up dishes in the kitchen, and buying way more books than she knows she’ll ever actually get to reading.

Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

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I’m moving from Gllenolden Pa . Outside of Philadelphia to Austin tx. How do I find out prices?
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