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Americans Are Leaving California and New York for This Southern U.S. State Instead

Americans are on the move, and it appears there’s one state in particular we all want to be in.

ConsumerAffairs released a study analyzing data from more than 143,000 of its users who said they were looking to move between January 2023 and March 2024. It then used those numbers to calculate the net migration change between states to determine its rankings for which states people are looking to move to most. And it turns out, like in years past, everyone wants to move south. 

“According to our analysis, 8 out of the 10 states with the largest net gain of people are in the South,” ConsumerAffairs wrote in its findings. It added that while they can’t definitively say this is why, however, it added that the mass migration south “could coincide with a cheaper cost of living — 8 of the 10 cities that are cheapest to live in are also in the South.” 

But Michael Basch, the founder of Oklahoma-based venture capital firm Atento Capital, added that it’s likely much deeper than just the cost of living for most people — especially if you want to start a business. 

“If you weren’t in Oklahoma, and you want to work at a startup or raise capital, you couldn’t do so here so easily, let’s say a decade ago — that’s changed,” Basch said. “Also, if you’re on the coast and wanted to build a company but don’t want to move to San Francisco, there weren’t a lot of options. That’s changed as well.”

As for where, specifically, people are flocking to, the ever-popular snowbird state of Florida came in third place, which scored a net migration of 3,080 new citizens. It was topped by South Carolina in second, with a net migration of 3,094 people, and North Carolina in first, with a net migration of 3,529. 

The rest of the top 10 list includes Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, and Oklahoma.

And, as for where people are flying out of, California came in as the No. 1 state that people are moving out of, losing 10,453 people during this timeframe. It was followed by New York state, which lost 2,190, and New Jersey, which lost 1,849. Once again, ConsumerAffairs chalks up these losses to the extreme cost of living.

“California’s whopping net loss of 10,453 people may be due to its steep cost of living; cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco ranked near the bottom of our 2024 Cheapest Places to Live list,” it reported. “New York City ranked at the very bottom of our Cheapest Places to Live list as the most expensive city to live in.”

See the full list of spots people are moving to — which may give you a little inspiration of where to move to, as well — at

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