What states are Americans fleeing the fastest?

High cost of living, high taxes, cold climates, and now government shutdowns resulting from the pandemic have all been reasons why Americans are fleeing certain states across the country. Which states are Americans fleeing the fastest? Where are they going? United Van Lines recently published their 44th Annual National Migration Study. United Van Lines based its findings on the percentage of inbound/outbound state moves compared with the overall number of state moves. For the record, only states with at least 250 or more moves with United Van Lines were included. We discuss these results below.

Getting out of town

For the third year in a row, New Jersey topped the list for most residents leaving town. Known for its cold weather, high taxes, high home prices, and overall high cost of living, The Garden State once again seems to be losing residents.

According to the latest data, the median home price in New Jersey is $442,500. For perspective, that’s nearly $100,000 more than the national median list price of $348,000. Add in cold weather, high taxes, & strict government shutdowns and you get a recipe for an exodus.

Two other states that are also seeing high numbers of residents fleeing are New York and Illinois. The reasons for the these departures are similar to those seen in New Jersey.

Where is everybody moving to?

The answer to this question is not what you think it may be. Although approximately 1,000 Americans move to Florida each day, the top destination state for the second year was Idaho. Although not considered to be a warm climate state, Idaho certainly has a much lower cost of living than California. The Idaho economy is also a strength with the capital city of Boise boasting a burgeoning tech job market. With a median home list price of $433,600, Idaho’s homes seem like quite the bargain as compared to California’s median home price of $725,500.


The 44th Annual National Migration Study by United Van Lines certainly underscores several findings. For one, many Americans are suffering from “tax fatigue”. This combined with the new economy that is allowing more and more Americans to work remotely is resulting in more people moving to tax friendly states. In South Florida, we have seen this phenomenon for years, even before the pandemic. With this said, the various lockdowns and desire for social distancing has made Florida an ideal destination for many across the country.

Are you considering a move to South Florida? If so, we have assisted many Americans realize this dream and are available to assist you as well. Contact us today!

By natasha@livesouthfl.com

REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.