Maricopa County saw the biggest population growth in the nation last year, and greater Phoenix had the second-biggest, with the increase in both cases driven mostly by people moving in to the region, the Census Bureau said.
Where are people moving to Arizona coming from?
Arizona continues to be one of the top moving destinations, ranking third in the nation. 63.2% of all Arizona moves were inbound last year. But why?
Here we take a comparative look at inbound states and cities that people are leaving for Arizona to answer that question.
Top cities and states
The high cost of living and heavy traffic is driving residents from California. In comparison, Arizona’s relatively low cost of housing is especially attractive to families. And with highways fairly free of traffic Arizona offers a smoother commute than California metro areas.
Los Angeles is one of the outbound hotspots in the state. It is estimated to live comfortably in LA you need to earn at least $136,207. Compare that to the estimated cost of living in a metro area like Phoenix which is only $48,876. You can see why moving to Phoenix is a popular decision right now.
Colorado residents are also fleeing their state for the dry deserts of Arizona. 18.50 percent of Colorado residents declared their migration was based on a need for a more viable retirement location. With low cost of living, retirees are flocking to Arizona from a costlier Colorado.
What about young, urban populations like Denver? While retirement may not be a reason for leaving, high cost of housing including skyrocketing rent costs are driving young people out of the Mile-High city.
Young professionals who wish to start a family are attracted to Arizona’s high-quality housing at low cost. Imagine twice the square footage for half of Denver’s prices.
While Texas is experiencing an economic boom, that success has consequences. Increasingly bad traffic and a rising crime rate are all consequences of prosperity that make Texas less appealing.
Arizona’s economy may not be growing, but it is stable. This means a lot to those in Texas who know too well the negative sting of economic spikes. Stable is good.
Metro areas like Dallas are experiencing urban sprawl, which is becoming less attractive to young professionals. As Texas cities like Dallas become more dense, young people are seeking out the still open spaces of Arizona to start their families.
Florida and Arizona have a lot in common as meccas for the retirement community. But Arizona is gradually winning out with drier weather and a less annoying tourist population.
Florida’s humidity vs. Arizona dry heat is a debate. But for many the swampy Southern air of Florida is too much to bear. Add to that a continuous flow of tourists from around the world all year round to crowd out residents. In Arizona, you only have that slight uptick of snowbirds during the winter months.
It’s not hard to understand why so many are leaving Illinois for Arizona. The high taxes and brutal winters are a one-two punch for most residents. While outbound moves increase, the cost of housing never seems to go down.
A reasonably priced brand-new house in Peoria, Arizona seems like a much better choice than the aging overpriced bungalow in an Illinois suburb. And in Arizona, you don’t want to shovel the driveway come December.
Chicago residents have it the worst with impossible parking situations and city streets narrowed by snowdrifts during the winter. Fed up Chicagoans are abandoning their costly two-flats for more room and more warmth in sunny Arizona cities like Mesa and Surprise.
Cities like Seattle are attracting newcomers with great job opportunities, but as the world continues to operate more remotely, the cost of living in Seattle is losing its appeal to young professionals.
Many are seeking out low cost of living options in college towns like Tempe, where they can continue to earn well working remotely while enjoying the college campus lifestyle in warmer weather.
Will this trend continue?
Arizona continues to be an extremely popular place to relocate and there is no data currently that suggests this trend will slow down. The warm weather and low relative cost of living continue to attract new residents from all over the country.