State Policy Network
On the move: Americans relocate across state lines

May’s State Voices polling confirmed what U.S. Census data showed earlier this year – that a significant number of Americans are moving across state lines.  Our polling found that 4% of Americans have moved to a new state in the last 12 months.

But that is only part of the story.  An additional 12%, or one-in-eight Americans, say they are likely to move to a new state in the next six months. And like the Americans who migrated in the last year, they are more likely to be looking to leave blue states.

Census migration data shows that freedom-focused Texas, Florida and Arizona had the top net migration gain for the period from 2020-2021 while the New York, California and Illinois, states fulfilling the liberal ideal of government, had the most significant population loss from domestic migration.

Our polling on intent mirrors this pattern. While we were not able to look at each individual state, there is a clear pattern in the most populated states. In California and New York, 16% of voters (in each) are likely to leave in the next six months compared to just 12% in Florida and 9% in Texas. 

The bottom line

State policy matters. The environments states create with their policies and programs make a difference on where Americans decide to live. State policy on taxes, education, business regulations and a variety of other issues attract people to certain states, making them more stable and contributing to a successful economy and civic life. States must be responsive to what their people want and need in order to be successful.