Due to the shifting economy, rise in remote work opportunities, and desire to relocate to less densely populated areas, more than one in ten Americans moved in the first part of 2021 alone. With more than 35 million address changes in the last year—including both permanent and temporary changes—it’s no wonder why U.S. migration trends have been changing! How will U.S. moving patterns continue to change in 2022? Check out these migration trends to keep an eye on in the coming year and the current most popular states to move to when relocating!


Couple taping a moving box while packing a house. Photo by Instagram user @ourtownamerica

Photo via @ourtownamerica

When we examined various trends and migration patterns from 2021, there were some commonalities that stood out, which may help predict how and where Americans will relocate in 2022.

Affordability Is Crucial

With an unemployment rate and economy that are still recovering from the global pandemic, many Americans are looking to move to a different state or city for lower living and housing costs. Finances and growing expenses were the main reasons behind Americans moving in 2021, with nearly half of Americans lacking emergency funds to cover higher-cost living expenses.

Americans looking to relocate who had higher financial security were able to consider the pros and cons of urban vs. suburban living, which led to many taking the opportunity to purchase affordable homes. The rise of remote work has allowed many Americans who previously lived in expensive cities to relocate to more affordable cities. This U.S. migration pattern explains why 82% of urban areas have seen more people moving out, while suburban areas have seen more people moving in.

More Space Is All the Rage

Many homebuyers opted for more spacious areas in 2021, a moving trend we anticipate to continue in 2022. 31% of young adults living in urban areas said the pandemic, proximity to family, and work options lead them to relocate to another state. Many others who were considering moving to a new state or city looked for homes with desirable amenities like yard spacehome offices, designated spaces for remote learning, and home gyms or workout options. Ultimately, people want homes with porches, spacious backyards, and room to breathe.

The desire for more space has Americans flocking to places like Idaho, New Mexico, and Maine, which are among the least populated states in America. On the flip side, the top states people departed from in 2021—places like Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut—are some of the most densely populated states in the country.

People from All Age Groups Are Moving

Based on the demographic trends of who moved in 2020 and 2021, we predict people of all ages and backgrounds will continue to move in 2022. Professionals, families, and retirees have been moving homes, and many young adults are moving south and west across the United States. Almost 10% of singles, young adults, and young professionals moved in the first part of 2020, due to reasons like financial and housing changes caused by the pandemic. This includes students who moved home because of college housing shutdowns and young people who relocated to more affordable cities for remote work opportunities. Additionally, many families with kids relocated to be closer to grandparents, childhood friends, and other extended family members. Even retirees have chosen to move out-of-state to other places like Arizona, Florida, or South Carolina!

Work-from-Home Jobs Are on the Rise

The growth of remote work opportunities will likely continue to influence U.S. migration trends in 2022. More than 40% of remote workers expect to continue working remotely or to follow a hybrid work model, rather than going back to the office full-time. Those with remote-working jobs no longer have to adhere to the high housing costs of massive labor markets, which means a large portion of those individuals are taking advantage of the opportunity to purchase less expensive homes.

As more Americans experience remote work, its desirability increases. The lack of a commute saves workers both time and money, and flexible work schedules allow employees to prioritize family, health, or other activities. If Americans don’t already have a work-from-home job allowing them to live where they want, they may be looking to move to cities with amazing remote work opportunities. Cities like ClevelandChattanooga, and Salt Lake City offer plenty of work-from-home or hybrid work opportunities, making them attractive destinations to move in 2022.

People Moved to Suburbs Outside Big Cities

An examination of U.S. moving patterns revealed a nationwide shift from downtown communities to the surrounding suburbs, indicating a rise in desirability for suburban living. Able to work remotely and no longer attached to city centers, homebuyers often looked to purchase housing in less dense neighborhoods.

Another 2021 moving trend, many movers relocated to more suburban areas rather than stay in the city center, but still stayed in-county. For instance, home sales in suburban communities surrounding NYC have increased dramatically compared to in-city dwellings. Even though rent continues to stay relatively low in the city, suburban living can provide housing options with more space, better school districts, and more affordable housing costs.

Proximity to Family Is Important

Proximity to family and loved ones has been found to be one of the main reasons people will stay in their hometowns or eventually move back home, and this fact has not changed in recent years. Of those who chose to move in 2021, 30% stated proximity to family was the primary cause.

The geographic location of family can be a deciding factor for Americans of all ages when moving out-of-state or to a new city. Many people who move may choose to live with family in order to lower living expenses, while others relocate so they can be present for family functions, offer support for older and new parents, or bond with siblings and extended family. The recent growth in remote work opportunities makes moving closer to family a more sustainable and long-term option.

(Read the full article by the publisher SpaceWise HERE)

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