Whether it’s better employment opportunities, convenient housing prices or neighborly communities, Americans are crossing state lines in search of a better home. As a matter of fact, state-to-state moving reached an all-time high in 2022, with an impressive 8.2 million Americans relocating to another state. About 34% of those hitting the road were millennials, the largest moving generation in the U.S. That translates to 2.8 million people in the 24 to 39 age bracket seeking a new residence in another state.

While the reasons for relocating remain varied, millennials are increasingly drawn to Southern states. The Sunbelt in particular emerges as the ultimate go-to destination with 6 of the top ten states with the most millennial move-ins. Welcoming over 75,000 millennials in 2022, Texas is the favorite state for this generation to move to, with Georgia close behind.

If you want to stick to the beaten path as you’re seeking a fresh start, we’ve highlighted below the magnet states for millennials in 2022, i.e., the states that gained more people aged 24 to 39 than lost on an annual basis.


1. Texas

Texas welcomed over 171K newcomers in 2022, which put it second after Florida in terms of overall net migration. But it emerges as the biggest net winner of residents aged 24 to 39. Attracted by a promising job sector and friendly communities, roughly 75K millennials chose Texas as their new home. Most of Texas’s newcomers originated in California, further solidifying the California-to-Texas moving route. Florida and New York are the next two states feeding the population increase in Texas, based on incoming moving data.

The Lone Star State indeed has a lot to offer, with a supportive business environment, a no-income-tax policy and a housing market that’s friendlier than most, among its biggest draws. It may come as no surprise then that half of the people moving from the Golden State ended up being homeowners. Californians moving to Texas have a lot to gain as homes are about 62% cheaper in the Lone Star State compared to their state of origin. That’s a substantial home price difference of $440K, one of the largest among the top 10 states attracting millennials.

Compared to home prices in their origin state, New Yorkers stand to save an impressive $127,000 when purchasing a home in Texas. Similarly, Floridians can keep approximately $76,000 more in their wallets by making the move to Texas.

All in all, people who are looking for a new beginning in Texas can reap the benefits of living in the Lone Star State, extending from a lower cost of living to a welcoming culture.

2. Georgia

In 2022, Georgia gained 36K more millennials than it lost, securing the second spot for net migration among the 24 to 39 age cohort. A thriving economy supported by various industries including film production, tech and logistics, an environment that fosters business growth and an inviting housing market are some conditions that prime Georgia as an excellent place to move to.

Looking at the sheer number of incomers, Florida is the main supplier of new Georgia residents, followed by Texas, North Carolina and California. Of the four main origin states, it’s Californians who are reaping the benefits of a more welcoming housing market — they get to pocket about $418K in cash difference between home prices in the two states. With homes priced at $349K in Florida and $295K in Georgia, Floridians also stand to gain about $54K when opting for homeownership in the Peach State.

3. Florida

Florida has been a magnet state for Americans looking for a fresh start for a few years, but in 2022 it came on top for net migration overall, gaining 238K new residents. Roughly 34K were millennials, mostly drawn by the state’s varied job market, warm climate and amenity-rich communities.

Most newcomers hail from New York, followed by Californians and Texas residents, based on the number of move-ins alone. As it turns out, most of these newcomers ended up becoming homeowners in Florida. At $349K on average, Florida homes trended lower compared to the other two states. Californians are left with the fattest wallets after buying a home in their new state, with savings to the tune of $363K. Those making the move from New York, on the other hand, are left with about $50K after buying their Florida home.

The Sunshine State has always had a special allure, but it’s been widening its appeal well beyond snowbirds and retirees to a much younger demographic, thanks to the attractive cost of living, thriving economy and overall quality of life.

New York to Florida moving

4. Connecticut

Connecticut has worked its way into people’s preferences, now brimming with top-notch education, an entrepreneurial environment, safe streets and a lively after-work culture. This is also reflected in the recent net migration figures. The state gained 24K more millennials than it lost in 2022, marking a shift from the population loss experienced in the past decade.

The state is mostly eyed by residents of neighboring states, including New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Among all move-ins, most newcomers from New York and Massachusetts ended up being homeowners in Connecticut. New arrivals are generally able to save a pretty penny if they choose to buy their home in Connecticut versus Massachusetts, for example. Savings may amount to a hefty $186K based on the difference between home prices in MA ($533K) and CT ($347K). With home values at $428K, New Jersey incomers can also benefit from a home price difference of about $81K if they make the move to the Constitution State.

Connecticut mixes city living with slower-paced lifestyles while also offering excellent education and health care options, which only increases its appeal as a great state to move to for millennials.

5. Washington

The beauty of the Pacific Northwest is undeniable, but it’s not the only ace that Washington state has up its sleeve when it comes to attracting newcomers. The state presents a slew of advantages, including a strong tech-centric job market as well as family-friendly policies that make it a desirable state to move to. It’s no surprise to see millennials turn it into their new home, with state-to-state migration resulting in a net gain of about 20K.

Looking at the number of transplants alone, most newcomers moving to Washington are coming from neighboring states on the West Coast, with California and Oregon among the main suppliers. Almost half of Oregonians moving here became homeowners within their first year of residence in the state, followed by Californians. As expected, it’s Californians who are reaping the benefits of a friendlier housing market in Washington state. Choosing to buy in Washington as opposed to the Golden State has the potential to save people roughly $149K.

Oregonians, on the other hand, needed a surplus of $92K to cover the cost of a Washington state home, as housing tends to trend higher in their destination state compared to Oregon.

6. North Carolina

The search for new horizons has led about 17K millennials — based on net population gains — to the beautiful state of North Carolina in 2022. In the context of rising living costs, the Tar Heel State is shaping up to be a haven of affordability, besides boasting a diverse economy that’s supported by the state’s tech hubs such as the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Research Triangle and Charlotte.

Newcomers from Virginia, Florida and South Carolina are likely to find more favorable housing costs here. In fact, both Virginians and Floridians get to save a little over 20% in housing costs, with a North Carolina home averaging $276K. Newcomers from Virginia — where home prices range around $361K — can save about $85K, while for Floridians that difference amounts to $73K (a Florida home goes for $349K).

For Americans crossing states lines from South Carolina to North Carolina, the cost of homes might not be the main reason for the move — as they might need to fork out more cash to become homeowners here — but the prospect of higher incomes. However, 40% of them bought a home after the move to North Carolina.

7. Arizona

Arizona has a charm of its own, deriving from its sunny weather and gorgeous landscape for the outdoorsy type, but its economic potential is making it a moving hot spot for many Americans. In fact, the Grand Canyon State gained a total of 14K millennials, based on net migration records in 2022.

Californians make up the bulk of people relocating to Arizona, but residents of Texas and Colorado also headed to the southwestern state in droves — if we’re looking at the overall move-in activity.

It’s clear that newcomers from CA and CO are winners in the housing market in Arizona as they bring fatter wallets to cover the cost of a more affordable local real estate market. Homes average $399K in Arizona compared to $713K in California and $530K in Colorado.

Texans, on the other hand, may need to dig deeper into their pockets than they’re used to for covering housing costs, but 33% of them still managed to become homeowners within their first year of residence in Arizona. With the state being a playground for high-profile employers such as Intel, Tesla, Charles Schwab and PayPal, it has promising prospects for career-focused individuals, including millennials who seek to broaden their horizons.

California to Arizona moving

8. Tennessee

Millennials looking to plant roots in another state might also set their sights on Tennessee. It’s easy to see why many would head this way — the state offers a lower cost of living, no income tax and a delightful climate perfect for outdoor adventures.

The largest influx of people originated from Florida, followed by California and Georgia as shown by the sheer number of newcomers. With Tennessee homes standing at an affordable $283K, residents of all three of these states are left with savings when buying a home locally. But it’s Californians who see the greatest savings, to the tune of $430K. You can put away $67K when you’re moving here from Florida and buy a home.

Overall, interstate migration brought a net gain of 46K new residents to Tennessee, with millennials making up approximately 14K of them.

9. Colorado

Colorado also seemed to ride high on the radar for millennials looking for greener pastures in 2022, with a net migration of 10K residents. The Centennial State has an appeal of its own for young professionals and families as it combines job opportunities, attractive housing, quality education and more.

Californians seem to be the most eager to move here, followed by Texans and Floridians as shown by overall incoming migration. Americans relocating from the Golden State are taking advantage of a more welcoming housing market, allowing them to save $183K when buying a home here compared to prices on the CA market.

For both Texans and Floridians, on the other hand, the cost of a home in Colorado — $530K on average — surpasses the cost in their states of origin. However, more than a third of newcomers from these two states became homeowners after moving to Colorado.

10. Kansas

Kansas claims the 10th spot among the most popular states for millennials to relocate to, with a low cost of living, tranquil lifestyle and amazing barbecue as major draws. The state welcomed over 9K millennials in net migration gains in 2022.

Based on move-ins alone, most newcomers to Kansas came from Missouri, Colorado and California. As it happens, relocating here presents itself with hefty benefits for prospective homeowners. Transplants from all three states stand to make savings when buying a Kansas home, priced at an affordable $204K. That makes them 71% cheaper than in California and 61% more affordable than in Colorado.

Self storage can become an ally when relocating to a different state

Switching to a different state comes with a set of unique challenges even as you’ve figured out the ideal place where you want to be next. Among the many logistical decisions, you’ll also have to deal with your belongings during and possibly after the move. That’s where self storage comes in as a popular service that can allow you to settle smoothly into your new home.

We’ve looked at self storage data in these 10 most popular states to move to, and as it turns out, the local markets are well positioned to respond to the need for storage space. Based on availability per person, 8 out the top 10 magnet states for millennials have a healthy self storage inventory that surpasses the national benchmark of 7 square feet per capita. Texas comes first with about 10.6 square feet per capita. Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia share a similar supply level, surpassing 9 square feet per person. In Florida, Arizona and Colorado, residents can benefit from over 8 square feet of self storage per person. A 10’x10’ non-climate-controlled unit rents for $122, on average.

Self Storage Supply and Rates in the Most Popular States for Millennials

RankStateSelf Storage Availability
(sq. ft./capita)
Self Storage Street
Rate (10x10 NCC)
Self Storage Price/
Sq. Ft.
1Texas10.64 $97 $0.94
2Tennessee9.65 $98 $0.93
3North Carolina9.35 $97 $0.92
4Georgia9.2 $101 $0.97
5Florida8.89 $119 $1.19
6Arizona8.52 $114 $1.08
7Colorado8.41 $120 $1.09
8Washington7.94 $145 $1.31
9Kansas7.01 $89 $0.81
10Connecticut5.25 $132 $1.24
StorageCafe analysis of Yardi Matrix data (January 2024)

In a changing landscape where people are looking for better opportunities, the trend of Americans moving to new states is on the rise. Millennials are at the forefront, attracted by promises of a better life and a sense of community. Southern states stand out as attractive destinations, offering hope and potential for those seeking a fresh start.

Check out how each of the 50 states fare in terms of net millennial migration and more:


Mirela is a real estate writer and lifestyle editor for Yardi. With an academic background in English and translation, Mirela now covers a range of topics including real estate trends, lifestyle and economy. Her previous experience in proofreading academic articles has inspired Mirela to choose a writing career path. In her free time, Mirela enjoys reading, but also hiking and creating art. You can contact Mirela via email.

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