Does it feel like everyone is moving here? Well, Delaware ranks as a top state to live in

Welcome to Delaware road sign at the state border. Andrey Krav, Getty Images/iStockphoto

February 27, 2024

By Krys’tal Griffin
Delaware News Journal

Delawareans are the first to shout their First State pride and boast about the allure of the Small Wonder, but it looks like the rest of the nation is finally catching on now that Delaware is deemed a top state to live in.

In 2022 when approximately 8.2 million people moved around the United States, Delaware broke through the top 20 list and ranked as the 16th-most-sought-after state in the country by net migration, according to StorageCafe.

Is everyone moving to Delaware now?

StorageCafe, an online platform that provides storage unit listings across the country, used U.S. Census Bureau data and other government data to find trends in recent nationwide moving patterns.

The study reports that Delaware gained around 12,500 more residents than it lost in 2022, with 29% of the 125 people who moved to the state every day being millennials, followed by 18% being baby boomers.

The top states contributing to Delaware’s influx of new residents are Pennsylvania (26% of movers), Maryland (22%), New Jersey (12%), New York (7%) and North Carolina (7%).

The typical new Delawarean earns an average of $58,000 and has an average age of 37 years old, according to the study, which adds that 38% of new residents at least have a bachelor’s degree and 7% are working remotely.

StorageCafe reports that tax leniency and housing affordability – including homes that are approximately 16% cheaper than Maryland rates and 22% cheaper than New Jersey rates – are big wins for movers choosing Delaware as their new home

Nationwide moving trends

Nineteen out of 50 states saw negative net migration numbers in 2022, according to StorageCafe.

The only U.S. region to end 2022 with a population gain is the South, which had a net gain of 690,000 residents from interstate migration. All other regions – the Northeast, Midwest and West – saw net declines, with the Northeast losing the most and shedding over 300,000 residents.

The top 10 states for net migration gains in 2022 were:

  • Florida
  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • Arizona
  • Georgia
  • South Carolina
  • Connecticut
  • Tennessee
  • Alabama
  • Oklahoma

The main factors drawing movers to the South include favorable climates, a relatively lower cost of living, abundant job opportunities and a robust economy in some areas. The region has also seen improvements in infrastructure and real estate landscapes, according to StorageCafe.

Of the southern hot spots, Texas, Georgia and Florida saw the highest volumes of net migration among 24- to 39-year-olds in 2022, the same demographic that Delaware has welcomed the most in recent years and the largest moving generation in the U.S., the study reports.

For younger movers, Connecticut, North Carolina and Washington D.C. saw the most Generation Z movers.

Generation Z continues to stray away from expensive urban areas like Los Angeles and New York City, with New York, California and Illinois all seeing negative migration of the demographic. Instead, Generation Z prefers relocating to states like Texas, Pennsylvania, Utah, North Dakota and Alabama.