America became remarkably mobile throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the reason was low-interest rates. Homes were more affordable because mortgage rates fell to near historic lows. However, something was more important. People could relocate because they could work from home. Due, in part to these reasons, Hawaii became America’s most popular state to move to.
MoveBuddha released a study titled “2022 Moving Trends Report: Where are Americans moving right now?” It used its data from 2020, 2021, and the first half of 2022. This showed which places people were moving out of compared to places people were moving into. Real estate values were from Zillow.
The least densely populated states tended to have the best scores to measure where people have been moving. The study used an index in which the highest score meant the best ratio of people coming versus going. Hawaii has an index score of 2.41, followed by Alaska at 2.32, and Montana at 2.14.
Hawaii does not fit the pattern. Its population density is the 19th highest in the country. However, Alaska is the least densely populated, and Montana is the third least populated.
Hawaii fails to fit the mold in another way. It has an extremely high cost of living, Additionally, its residents have the third highest median income among all states. Montana ranks 40th based on median household income. Alaska ranks 12th. According to the research, these states may be popular for an entirely different reason: “Hawaii and Alaska do the best job of retaining existing residents, in part due to their geographic isolation and jaw-dropping scenery.”
American mobility has started to drop again. Mortgage rates have surged. Companies have called many people back to their offices. People who moved to Hawaii and Alaska may be stuck there.
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