States Americans Are Fleeing And The Places They’re Flocking To

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More and more Americans are packing their things and moving to greener pastures. The rise of remote work and mounting housing costs drive people to look for cheaper living arrangements. Many of the places Americans are leaving were once attractive places to live. So, what happened?

Better job opportunities inspire nearly a third of moves. Additionally, Americans increasingly want to be closer to their loved ones, which has increased significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic. We have compiled a list of all the states Americans are leaving, followed by the ones they’re now calling home.


States Americans Are Fleeing And The Places They're Flocking To


There’s no doubt that tourists and gamblers flock to Nevada for its glamour, but how many people are actually willing to live in the state permanently? With 51% of outbound moves, most Americans left the state for better job opportunities. Nevada relies a lot on tourism, but job opportunities are scarce. Nevada has the second-worst unemployment rate in the U.S., as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.

One Redditor complains that education in the region is poor, income doesn’t reflect how expensive things have gotten, and health care is hit or miss. Each state is rated and ranked in three different categories in the Quality Counts report card: Chance for Success, School Finance, and K-12 Achievement. Considering that, Nevada received a D-plus due to its educational system.  This is alarming as C is the national average.


States Americans Are Fleeing And The Places They're Flocking To

@g_dezigner / Twenty20

This state has reported 51.8% of outbound moves. Local residents are leaving due to the slow job market, according to recent surveys. More than 38% of residents state that they left the state to look for greener pastures.

Many share that the terrible weather conditions are one of the main reasons why they want to leave the state.  Martin Mann, a Missouri resident, posted the following on Quora, “Our winters are brutal. There’s not much to do during the cold months. Sometimes it is bitterly cold and overcast for days on end. Additionally, our drivers are some of the worst in the country.”


States Americans Are Fleeing And The Places They're Flocking To

@oliver.jsn via Twenty20

It should be no surprise that the Magnolia State has an outbound rate of 51.9%. With high unemployment and poverty rates, more and more residents are flocking to different states with more job opportunities.  Reddit user glam270 posted that even though the state provides residents with barely any traffic problems and an escape from the fast-paced living found in many other states, the appeal of something bigger is a good enough reason to leave.

The user wrote, “I was looking for opportunities for growing my business, building houses, providing educational opportunities for my children, etc., which were not available in the state at this point in my life.” According to Mississippi Today that even though there’s a rapid decline in the state’s population, the elected officials haven’t even addressed the problem.


States Americans Are Fleeing And The Places They're Flocking To

@kayp /Twenty20

Wisconsin has time and time again proved to have one of the slowest growth rates in the entire country. Birth rates are rapidly declining, and there aren’t a lot of residents under 18. Many people are leaving the state for better job opportunities. Employment is the main driving force for residents to pack up and leave, but three out of ten people state they’re leaving to be closer to their relatives.

The state also has terrible weather, which also causes many to move to warmer, more Southern states. Another con of living in Wisconsin is the property and income tax rates. The government imposed an 11% tax rate, and many are overwhelmed by the additional expense. Gene Rick, a Quora user, wrote, “Many of our best and most skilled people are leaving the state for our liberal (and more prosperous) neighboring state, Minnesota.”


States Americans Are Fleeing And The Places They're Flocking To

@alisa876 / Twenty20

It became abundantly clear that a lot more people are leaving the state than moving to the state. It’s common knowledge that the cost of living is extremely high, and it’s nearly impossible to buy a house or rent a property. The state boasts a prosperous job market, but the unemployment rate is still 5%. Despite the appealing job market, many residents leave to pursue better job opportunities, nearly 39% of residents, according to United Van Lines.

Reddit user Consistent-Sample880 posted that even though she’s a teacher in a relatively well-paying area, she doubts that she would be able to purchase a house. Since working from home gained popularity, many residents packed their bags to pursue more and better opportunities to work from home in other states.

North Dakota

States Americans Are Fleeing And The Places They're Flocking To

@darrencomendador / Twenty20

North Dakota has always been criticized for their relatively low population rates, and 2021 was no different, with an outbound move percentage of 52.5. Yet again, residents are leaving for job opportunities and to be closer to their families. The state has an unemployment rate of 3.2%, but people are still leaving.

Over 60% of residents stated that the cold weather was the main reason why they relocated. The winters are terrible, and it is not appealing to potential residents. Marv Dorner posted on Quora that in order to live in North Dakota, one must be adaptable to the ever-changing weather.


States Americans Are Fleeing And The Places They're Flocking To

@iReed / Twenty20

Pennsylvania is well-known for its cheesesteak and chocolate, but it’s not enough to keep residents in the state. According to, one in five residents left the state. Over 60% were people who rented homes and wanted to move to states with affordable housing markets. Pennsylvania has an unemployment rate of 5.4%, and many left the state for better job opportunities.

Many people encountered work-related issues, health concerns, changes in housing demands, and significant financial losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Explainlikeimfifty posted on Reddit, “Pennsylvania is not an awful place to live, but it isn’t really paradise either. And if you’re living outside of Philly/Philly metro area, Lehigh Valley, or Pittsburgh, the job market just isn’t that great.”


States Americans Are Fleeing And The Places They're Flocking To

@JessicaKaplanPhotography / Twenty20

Many people leave the state to seek more employment opportunities. A lot of the residents also seek to get away from the high tax rates and the terrible winters. Another driving factor is the increase in crime-related activities.

Ukrainian_penguin, a Reddit user, shared, “We get taxed up the wazoo. We have high-income taxes, high sales taxes, and property taxes are up there too. Winter can last a few months and get pretty, cold-causing potholes, which take all summer to fix.” The U.S Census Bureau shared that nearly 13,500 people left Minnesota, and the state is ranked eighth in population loss through domestic migration.


States Americans Are Fleeing And The Places They're Flocking To

@joemelendez / Twenty20

Even though Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz couldn’t wait to get home to Kansas, many residents feel differently. The cost 0f living isn’t as high compared in other states, and the housing is affordable, however, many of the younger generations seek new homes in more progressive states as well as better job opportunities.

“If you want to do a lot of different jobs, you really can’t do them in Kansas. Sure, there are indie/start-ups everywhere, but if your dream is to work for a big tech company/game developer, world-class museum or university, stage/dance performance, government, publishing … Yes, Kansas has these jobs, but few of them and they are really local, or they’re a place people go through before moving on to something better,” Redditor felesroo writes.


States Americans Are Fleeing And The Places They're Flocking To

@jeniferc76 / Twenty20

Nebraska listed in the top 10 states residents were leaving, with outbound moves at 55.7%. According to a report from KMTV, around 2,000 residents are leaving the state annually due to “brain drain.”Residents with college educations are leaving Nebraska to pursue opportunities that offer better salaries, especially in bigger cities.

Another big downside to living in Nebraska is the weather, Keith Rockefeller, a user on Quora shed some light on this, “Our winters are very cold … What is worse than the cold itself is the wind. 20 degrees with a strong wind from the west can chill you to the bone. When it gets into the single digits with a strong wind, it is hard to deal with. I have had to jump start batteries in that kind of weather, and it is not fun,”


States Americans Are Fleeing And The Places They're Flocking To

@christiemitchell1104 / Twenty20

Ohio has an outbound move percentage of 56.3. Job transfers and job offers in different states is the primary reason why people are leaving, but around 28% of residents are moving due to retirement. Most residents who relocated are older than 65.

Even though the cost of living is low, the weather drives many to reconsider their residences. “110 degrees in the summer with 90% humidity. Then a couple of weeks of autumn weather. I missed the changing foliage. Then straight into frigid winter. We got what they called a polar vortex. It was -10 degrees for six weeks. I had seven feet of snow in my drive. Then a couple of weeks of spring weather, and right back into the brutal summer,” recounts Quora user Curtis Williams.


States Americans Are Fleeing And The Places They're Flocking To

@ashtonsaywahh / Twenty20

Residents are ready to get away from the unbearable heat and limited economic options. Outbound moves are at 56.5% in Louisiana. The primary reason to leave the state was for work, and more than half of the people who leave the state are under 45.

“Everyone I know has left. Low pay and not many opportunities, especially if you aren’t aiming for the oil field,” user cain261 shared on Reddit. There has been a crisis in Louisiana’s energy sector for years. The pandemic only exacerbated it. As a result of the decline in oil and gas demand, layoffs have occurred in the state’s energy industry. Job loss isn’t the only reason why people are leaving, though. Hurricanes hit Louisiana frequently, the most recent being Hurricane Ida, a category 4 hurricane that destroyed thousands of people. With each hurricane, more land is damaged, and more people flee the state.


States Americans Are Fleeing And The Places They're Flocking To

@eric_urquhart / Twenty20

Although the Bay State is known for its world-class educational institutions and lovely seaside communities, it is also one of the most expensive states to live in. According to Zillow, the average home goes for around $545,000.

The top three reasons for people leaving Massachusetts were jobs, family, and retirement. Residents moved to less densely populated regions with more remote career prospects and closer proximity to family. “Gentrification is going on hardcore and causing rents to skyrocket even more. Kinda runs counter to the whole collegiate environment, as it’s hard for students to find affordable places to live,” Thomas Griffin posted on Quora.


States Americans Are Fleeing And The Places They're Flocking To

@Singh / Twenty20

Although Michigan is widely regarded as the heartland of the American automobile industry, more people are packing their belongings and leaving. People want to be closer to their families, but many others leave the state for jobs.

Michigan also has one of the highest average auto insurance prices in the country, with locals claiming that driving in the winter months can be especially hazardous. It also makes no difference who caused the accident in Michigan. The increased premiums are due to the state’s no-fault policy.

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