Keller WIlliams Luxury Logo
Home » Migration Patterns

Migration Patterns

by | Jan 29, 2024 | Blog, Resorts | 0 comments

By Dan Polimino

OK, I admit it. I am a bit of a data geek. Well, that’s incorrect because that’s like being a little pregnant; you either are or you aren’t, and I am a data geek. I like statistics, I like numbers, I like flow charts. Data helps me get a great picture of a lot of different circumstances that are happening, particularly in real estate. As they say, the numbers never lie, and so when I ran across this website from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), I really, as they say, “geeked out”. If you love this type of stuff and love following trends, then you’re going to love this migration patterns website from NAR. Here is the link.

What I love about this site is not only the interactive maps, but the quick glance charts on the right-hand side of their site. If you just want to know quickly which states had the greatest outbound and inbound traffic, they summarize that in the right-hand column. The top states with the highest inbound traffic (people moving in) are Connecticut, Florida, South Carolina, Arizona, and Oklahoma. I probably could’ve guessed Florida, South Carolina, and Arizona, but I didn’t figure on Connecticut being the number one state people were moving to. What’s happening in Connecticut that motivates everyone to move there? If you know, I’d love to hear back from you. Also, it was no surprise to learn which are the top five states people are leaving in droves. Number one is…wait for it… yes, you guessed it, New York, followed very closely by California, New Jersey, Illinois, and Maryland. You can use the interactive map and click on your state to see the inbound and outbound traffic.

The next section talks about net migration and those are the charts that I really pay attention to. There are always people moving in and out of states, but which states are doing better than others. Which states are gaining more people than they are losing, because this tells a story about the quality of life in that state. The top five states for a positive net migration are Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, and Georgia. The top five states for a negative net migration are California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland.

It’s not surprising to see the list of states which have a negative net migration, because they were also the states which had the most outbound traffic. Just the other day, I was reading a story of an LA Times columnist who wrote an opinion piece, asking people who are leaving California to please not bad mouth the state on their way out the door. I think it might be too late for that.

There are some states which are clearly doing things right and attracting people to come and live there, work there, and build their lives there. Those are the states to pay attention to and the NAR website goes on to explain some of the reasons for why people are leaving one state to move to another. Except for California and Colorado, many of the states which had a positive net migration were the states which created the most jobs. So, there is clearly a connection between people moving from state to state for better opportunities.

NAR was able to summarize what mattered most to people and their number one reason for moving was housing affordability. Nine out of 10 states which had positive net migration also had some of the most affordable housing in the country. Apparently, people will compromise on employment opportunities in order have more affordable housing. The states with the most affordable housing in the country are West Virginia, Mississippi, and Iowa. While the most expensive housing in the U.S. (Hawaii #1, California #2 and Washington D.C #3) all had negative net migration.

There are numerous other factors that contribute to people moving from one state to another, like weather, safety, security, and quality of life. There is no denying that states which have heavy regulation, massive debt, high taxes/fees, high crime and are poorly run are doing the worst, while the opposite is true for places like Florida, Texas, Arizona, and such.

Enjoy the map, click around it, look at the charts, read the summaries, and come to your own conclusions. I would love to hear them.


Dan Polimino is the owner of the Hawai`i Team in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i. He and his team are the luxury residential experts for the Big Island. If you are thinking about buying or selling in Hawai’i, then please reach out to us at team@thehawaiiteam.com or call 808-913-0899.

Recent Posts

The State of Real Estate

The State of Real Estate

Last month was our annual gathering of the Keller Williams family. Our convention is called Family Reunion and this year it was in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay convention center. I always enjoy attending the annual conference because I get to see so many of my...

read more
You Don’t Know…What You Don’t Know

You Don’t Know…What You Don’t Know

The saying, “You don’t know, what you don’t know” has been around a long time, and it may not be truer than here in Hawai`i. This is just a special place and as such what happens here doesn’t happen in most parts of the country. So, let’s look at some topics that a...

read more
January Market Stats for Big Island Resort Areas

January Market Stats for Big Island Resort Areas

Single sales in most of the resorts was the norm during January, the exception being Waikoloa Beach Resort where six condominium sales closed. Kohanaiki recorded one home sale and one condominium sale and three of the other resorts – Mauna Kea, Hualālai and Kūki`o -...

read more

Recent Listings

Call Now