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Every decade, the U.S. Census Bureau surveys every resident in the country to update the population count. The most recent U.S. Census was distributed in 2020 and the previous census was distributed in 2010. During that 10-year period, there have been major changes in population size, the distribution of Americans across the country and moving trends.

The U.S. Census is mainly used to measure how many people are living in the United States, but the data is also used in a variety of important ways. For example, data from the U.S. Census affects how many representatives each state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives. It also helps local governments allocate funding for public health, education, transportation and more.

U.S. population data and statistics for 2022

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According to the 2020 U.S. Census, the population has grown significantly since the last survey was published. Here are some key data points from the most recent U.S. Census:
  • The estimated U.S. population as of 2022 is 331,449,281, an increase of 7.4% since the 2010 Census. (Census.gov)
  • More than 27.2% of U.S. citizens live in California, Texas and Florida, which are the three largest states by population. (Census.gov)
  • The fastest growing states are Utah, Idaho, Texas, North Dakota and Nevada, based on population growth between 2010 and 2020. (Census.gov)
  • The slowest growing states in the U.S. are Connecticut, Michigan, Ohio, Wyoming and Pennsylvania, based on population decline data between 2010 and 2020. (Census.gov)
  • The median gross rent in the U.S. is $1,096 per month. (Census.gov)
  • The median value of owner-occupied housing units is $229,800. (Census.gov)
  • Nearly 33% of U.S. citizens over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree. (Census.gov)
  • The median household income in the U.S. is $64,994, as of 2020. (Census.gov)
  • The 2020 U.S. Census estimated that there are 9,878,397 women-owned businesses, 7,952,386 minority-owned businesses and 2,521,682 veteran-owned businesses operating in the U.S. (Census.gov)

Moving statistics

If you moved over the last few years, you’re not alone. Not only is the U.S. population growing, but certain areas of the country have seen significant changes in population over the last 10 years. Government agencies consistently collect data on where people are moving to and from, but the 2020 U.S. Census uncovered a few notable patterns, some of which were just beginning when the census took place.

Moving trends in the U.S. have been fueled by a variety of situations and reasons, one of the biggest being the COVID-19 pandemic, which started in early 2020 and the impacts of which are not fully reflected in the last official census. Many people left highly populated areas to reduce their risk of getting sick. Millions of Americans who began working from home during the pandemic had the opportunity to move to new places. In addition, inflation and taxes have driven up the cost of living in many areas, which drove some people to move to less expensive areas. Despite this, data shows that, surprisingly, fewer people have moved during the pandemic than ever before.

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Moving-related statistics
  • Data shows that the number of people who are moving to other states is slowing down. In 2021, more than 8% of Americans lived in a different place one year ago, which is down from 9.3% in 2020. (Census.gov)
  • In 2021, the South gained about 253,000 people who moved from another region, while the Northeast lost about 227,000 people. There were no major population changes in the Midwest or West. (Census.gov)
  • The smallest number of people moved within the U.S. in 2020 since record keeping began 70 years ago. (World Economic Forum)
  • Only 8% of Americans, or about 26.5 million people, moved within the U.S. between March 2020 and March 2021. (World Economic Forum)
  • During 2020, more people moved out of U.S. cities than moved into them. Almost 5 million Americans left cities for suburbs or rural areas. (World Economic Forum)
  • Just under 3 million Americans moved into cities from suburbs or rural areas in 2020. (World Economic Forum)
  • Young adults between the ages of 20-29 moved the most in 2020. An estimated 18% of people in this age group moved during that year. (World Economic Forum)
  • 2021 data shows that many people who moved during the pandemic only relocated temporarily. Roughly 25% of Americans who moved during the pandemic say they now live in the place they had occupied before. (World Economic Forum)
  • A 2021 survey showed that 26% of people moved during the pandemic for safety reasons. (World Economic Forum)

Top 10 states people are moving to

Certain states are experiencing higher population growth than others. In fact, you might be surprised to learn where most Americans are moving to, statistically speaking. Here are some of the most interesting figures about where people are moving to, based on finding from the 2020 Atlas® Van Lines Migration Patterns Study:

  • Idaho had the largest population growth in 2020 at 66%.
  • 2020 inbound moves were distributed fairly evenly across the U.S.
State Inbound Percentage
Idaho 66%
North Carolina 65%
Maine 62%
New Hampshire 62%
Alabama 61%
Washington D.C. 60%
New Mexico 60%
Nevada 60%
Alaska 59%
Kentucky 58%

Top 10 states people are moving from

Over the last few years, some states have seen large population declines, due to factors like the pandemic, politics, the housing market and increased living costs. The table below shows which states had the highest percentage of outbound moves in 2020. Here are some of the key findings from the Atlas® Van Lines study:

  • New York had the largest number of people leave the state in 2020.
  • California, which is the most populated state in the country, saw 57% of residents move out of the state.
State Outbound Percentage
New York 66%
Illinois 63%
New Jersey 61%
Louisiana 60%
West Virginia 60%
Nebraska 58%
Minnesota 58%
Indiana 58%
California 57%
Iowa 56%

Top 10 Cities people are moving to

If you were surprised to learn which states have the highest and lowest population growth, you may be less surprised to see which cities have the largest number of people moving in. Here is some data on the fastest growing cities in the U.S. between 2019-2020, according to data collected from the 2020 U.S. Census:

  • Cities in the South and West are seeing the biggest population increases.
  • Out of the fastest-growing cities, three of those cities are in Texas.
City Number of new residents
Phoenix, AZ 25,194
San Antonio, TX 19,862
Fort Worth, TX 19,229
Austin, TX 16,721
Seattle, WA 16,423
Charlotte, NC 12,422
Denver, CO 10,030
Mesa, AZ 9,662
Las Vegas, NV 8,405
Henderson, NV 7,627

Top 10 Cities people are moving from

Data from the U.S. Census indicated that many Americans have left major metropolitan areas and moved to more suburban or rural areas. In the table below, you can see which cities saw the most people leave between 2019-2020, and how many residents relocated. Here are some standout figures:

  • More people left California cities than any other state.
  • New York had the biggest population decrease, losing almost 90,000 residents between 2019-2020.
City Number of residents that left
New York, NY 89,712
Chicago, IL 13,854
San Jose, CA 12,912
Los Angeles, CA 12,666
San Francisco, CA 12,220
Baltimore, MD 8,470
Philadelphia, PA 5,952
Detroit, MI 5,073
Long Beach, CA 3,806
Honolulu, HI 3,431

Moving trends during the pandemic

One of the biggest triggers for the recent migration within the U.S. was the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people who were once forced to live close to work had the opportunity to go elsewhere and work remotely. Others left populated cities to reduce their risk of getting sick. There were also many college students who had to move back in with their parents when their campus closed.

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Moving statistics during the pandemic
Here’s a look at some statistics around moving during the pandemic from a 2020 Pew Research Center survey:
  • Roughly one-in-five U.S. adults say they either changed their residence due to the pandemic or know someone who did.
  • Almost 10% of adults between the age of 18-29 say they moved due to the pandemic.
  • Asian and Hispanic adults were the most likely to have moved during the pandemic. An estimated 7% of Asian adults and 6% of Hispanic adults said they moved during the pandemic, compared with 2% of White adults.
  • Americans moved during the pandemic for a variety of reasons. 28% of people said they moved to reduce their risk of contracting the virus, 23% said they moved because their college campus closed and 18% said they moved due to job loss.
  • More than 60% of the adults who moved during the pandemic said they relocated to a family member’s home. 41% of people moved in with their parents or in-laws.
  • Out of the Americans who moved, data shows that 26% had a friend move in and 17% had a romantic partner move in.
  • 13% of those who moved during the pandemic relocated to a second home or vacation home.

Conclusion

Data patterns over the last decade and in more recent years indicate that Americans are still moving, although moving rates are slightly lower than they were in the past, likely due in part to the changes in why people moved during the recent pandemic. Major metropolitan areas, especially those in the West and South regions, are seeing the highest population growths.

Although many people moved during the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are finding other reasons to move, as well. This includes inflation, high costs of living and more remote employment opportunities that allow people to work from anywhere.