Where people moved in 2022: Florida showed gains, California showed declines

As U.S. home prices continue to rise and remote work remained in place for many Americans, a new real estate analysis shows where people moved most in 2022. 

The data, gathered by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), used the United States Postal Service’s change-of-address data to identify migration trends. The analysis covered relocations by ZIP code across the country during 2022.

While housing is the main reason people move, data shows that housing-related moves rose even further due to the pandemic. For example, 46% of the moves were made for housing-related reasons in 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This is an increase of 6 percentage points from the previous year. 

Based on the data, the NAR says the increase was primarily due to people looking for a better neighborhood, cheaper housing, and the desire for a newer and larger home. 

Florida was fastest-growing state in 2022

Florida, Texas and the Carolinas were the states with the most net domestic migration gains in 2022. 

According to NAR, this migration significantly boosted population growth in these areas. 

b8e037c0-Price Of Rent Rises Nearly Nationwide

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 29: In an aerial view, the City of Miami skyline, where many renters reside in the apartment buildings on September 29, 2021 in Miami, Florida. According to an analysis from Realtor.com, rents nationwide are rising, with th

The data found that Florida was the fastest growing state in 2022, with an annual population increase of 1.9% within a year.

In fact, according to NAR, this was the first time since 1957 that Florida’s population grew faster than anywhere else across the U.S. 

RELATED: Florida leads country in population growth for the first time in 65 years

"With most of these fast-growing areas located in the South, this region continues to be the most populous region, with nearly 130 million residents." NAR wrote. 

NAR said a common characteristic of these populous areas, in addition to the fact that they are located in the Sun Belt region, was a robust job market recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the top 10 states was about a 5% increase in jobs in 2022 than in March 2020. 

Top 10 fastest growing states in 2022:

  • Florida: 318,885 (Net migration 2022), 1.9% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • Texas: 230,961 (Net migration 2022), 1.6% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • North Carolina: 99,796 (Net migration 2022), 1.3% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • South Carolina: 84,030 (Net migration 2022), 1.7% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • Tennessee: 81,646 (Net migration 2022), 1.2% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • Georgia: 81.406 (Net migration 2022), 1.2% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • Arizona: 70,984 (Net migration 2022), 1.3% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • Idaho: 28,639 (Net migration 2022), 1.8% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • Alabama: 28,609 (Net migration 2022), 0.5% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • Oklahoma: 26,791 (Net migration 2022), 0.7% (Population change 2022-2021)

California saw largest outmigration in 2022

Meanwhile, California, New York and Illinois experienced the largest net domestic outmigration, and as a result, the population dropped even further in these states. 

Despite this decrease, California remained the most populous state, with nearly 39 million residents statewide.


Night time view of the LA skyline from the the Griffth Observatory, located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, just above the Los Feliz neighborhood, The tall buildings of Los Angelese downtown are clearly visible in the backg

Although NAR said many people are returning to these areas as employers demand a return to the office, outbound still outpace inbound moves in these large areas. 

Affordability hit record lows in 2022 which is a primary reason that people continue to relocate from these big city centers to less dense and more affordable areas. Nevertheless, according to the USPS data, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Washington, DC experienced migration gains.

10 largest outmigration states in 2022:

  • California: -343,230 (Net migration 2022), -0.3% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • New York: -299,597 (Net migration 2022), -0.9% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • Illinois: -141,656 (Net migration 2022), -0.8% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • New Jersey: -64,231 (Net migration 2022), -0.1% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • Massachusetts: 7,292 (Net migration 2022), -0.1% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • Louisiana: 46,672 (Net migration 2022), -0.8% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • Maryland: -45,101 (Net migration 2022), -0.2% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • Pennsylvania: -39,957 (Net migration 2022), -0.3% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • Virginia: -23,952 (Net migration 2022), 0.3% (Population change 2022-2021)
  • Minnesota: -19,400 (Net migration 2022), 0.1% (Population change 2022-2021)

Less Americans moved in 2022

Although the population continues to increase, fewer Americans decided to move in 2022. After a historically low moving rate in 2021, data indicates that even fewer Americans moved across the country last year. But this is not a new trend.

RELATED: Buying a home is now more affordable than renting in these 5 US cities

Millions of people moved during the pandemic, driven by the opportunity to work remotely, the desire for more space, and better affordability.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.