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May 12, 2023

2022 Migration Insights

Reviewed By: Mary Beth Johnson, VP Business Development, Atlas World Group - 40+ Years in the Moving Industry

Atlas moving truck parked outside a home
Moving homes is often driven by a variety of reasons, ranging from job relocation, seeking a better lifestyle, or upgrading to a larger home. Despite a continuing increase in population, fewer Americans chose to move in 2022, continuing a trend observed over the past six years. Although the pandemic prompted a surge in migration, driven by remote work opportunities, the desire for more space and better affordability, the data for 2022 suggests a persistent decline in the moving rate. Data from the United States Postal Service® change-of-address records indicates that almost 70% of ZIP codes in country recorded fewer inbound moves in 2022 compared to 2021. This follows a historically low moving rate in 2021, with even fewer Americans relocating across the country in the past year.


International Migration & Population

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. population increased by 1.2 million people in 2022, and now stands at 333.2 million residents. The main driver of this growth was international migration, with net international migration being more than 1 million residents from 2021 to 2022. This represents a growth rate of 168% compared to the previous year, with every state gaining residents from abroad. 
In addition to international migration, natural growth, which is the number of births minus the number of deaths, added another 245,080 people to the total population, marking the first year-over-year increase in total births since 2007. The 2022 U.S. annual growth rate of 0.4% was a rebound from the 0.1% growth rate during the worst of the pandemic in 2020 to 2021, which was the lowest growth rate since the nation's founding.


Domestic Migration by State

The U.S. Census Bureau recently disclosed the net domestic migration statistics for each state in 2022. Among them, twenty-six states reported an influx of people, with more people moving in than out, while twenty-five states lost movers. Florida, Texas, North and South Carolina recorded the highest net domestic migration gains in 2022, which in conjunction with positive net international migration, had a significant impact on population growth in these areas. 

Florida had the fastest-growing population in 2022, with an annual population increase of 1.9%, which was the first time since 1957 that Florida's population grew faster than any other state in the country. With most of the rapidly growing areas situated in the South, this region maintains its position as the most populous area, with nearly 130 million residents. However, California, New York, and Illinois reported the largest net domestic outmigration, resulting in a further decline in population in those states. Nevertheless, California remains the most populous state with nearly 39 million residents statewide.
states sorted by domestic net migration
The areas with the largest influx of people were primarily located in Florida, Texas, and the Carolinas, recording inbound moves that were more than six percentage points higher than outbound moves. These populous areas had a common feature - besides being situated in the Sun Belt region, they boasted robust recovery of their job markets after the pandemic. 

Among the top areas with the highest inbound move rates, not only did their economies recover all jobs lost at the beginning of the pandemic, but they averaged 5% more jobs than in March 2020. Compared to the national level, job market recovery after the pandemic was more than twice as fast in these areas as it was nationwide. 


Domestic Migration by Region

map of USA showing inbound move rate
Major metro areas, such as New York, San Francisco, and Chicago continued to experience outmigration. Although more people are returning to these areas as in-office work is making a comeback, outbound moves still exceeded inbound moves in these large areas. While affordability hit record lows in 2022, it remains the primary reason why people continue to relocate from these major city centers to less dense and more affordable regions. Nonetheless, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Washington, DC, according to USPS data, recorded migration gains.

As detailed by the interactive map above, most major metro areas in the Southern region gained inbound movers, while numerous metro areas in the north and northeastern regions had many outbound movers. The mid-west and western regions were an even mix of inbound and outbound movers.


Long-Distance Moving with Atlas

Our vast network of agents and partners span the entire United States, allowing us to provide residential moves anywhere in the country, no matter how remote or difficult the location may be. While other moving companies work on their time, we work on yours. Whether you are moving around the block or moving cross-country, Atlas has you covered. Request your quote today.