Lone Star Migration: The moveBuddha 2024 Texas Migration Report

With explosive growth across the Lone Star state, Texas is clearly a beacon attracting both businesses and individuals nationwide. Urban metros are overflowing with newcomers flooding historically off-the-radar towns. Which Texas cities are especially popular to move to in 2024? 

It’s no secret that the Lone Star State is less lonely than it used to be.

So far in 2024, Texas’ in-to-out move ratio is up 17% over last year, and it’s not even moving season yet. The state is 1st in the nation for highest volume of net in-move searches, too. That’s a big claim to fame for a state that’s already known as a destination Mecca: Texas drew more than 9,000,000 newcomers between 2000 and 2022.

To be sure, Texas’ inflow has fallen from its highs in the early 2020s. Brookings’ analysis of U.S. Census data confirms that there has been a “softening” of domestic migration into Texas, according to Census migration data from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.

But despite the slowdown, Texas continues to earn the most significant numeric increase in population growth. Natural population increase is a big player, but so is domestic migration, accounting for an estimated 186,767 new residents in 2022-2023. Plus, nobody wants to leave.

We wanted to know where all those newcomers are settling from 2023 into 2024.

Table of Contents:
1. Texas Moves: Looking at statewide trends into 2024
2. Texas Gains: Which states are fueling Texas growth?
3. Texas Exits: Which states do Texans want to move to?
4. Top Move-to-Cities Forecast: Which Texas cities are earning lots of new moves?
5. Sources and Methodology

Big Takeaways

  • Texas attracts 1 in 5 movers looking to move to states with positive inflow. By pure search volume, Texas is #1 in the country in 2024, so far.
  • From 2010 to 2020, Texas grew by 4 millionmore than any other state. The population surpassed 30 million in 2022 and welcomed 200K more out-of-state residents from 2022 to 2023.
  • Moves are heading to the suburbs at high rates: Houston metro is home to the state’s top four move-to cities, #1 Cypress, #2 Conroe, #3 Katy, and #4 Sugarland. Houston median homes still cost less than the U.S. average, about $308K as of March 2024.
  • Austin suburbs earning high proportions of new moves cost about $100K less than homes in the City of Austin: #5 Leander and #9 Georgetown.
  • Dallas-area big cities are getting bigger, faster. Frisco is the top big city to move to in Texas.
  • #8 Tyler has maintained its spot among Texas’ cities for a high move in-to-out ratio since 2023. In 2024, it’s the only city outside the Texas Triangle to land in the top 10.
  • Californians are (still) fueling growth, with more than 25% of move searches into Texas coming from the Golden State.
  • For every 1.36 new Texans, just 1 resident leaves. They’re more likely to head to California than any other state.

1. Moving to Texas: It’s the Economy

Texas is among the top 5 states for GDP growth, expanding its economy by over 5% in the 4th quarter of 2023.

Rank State % change in GDP (2023-Q3 to 2023-Q4)
1 Nevada 6.7%
2 Idaho 6.6%
3 Utah 5.4%
4 South Carolina 5.2%
5 Texas 5%
USA 3.4%


That might be why, in 2024, plenty who want to benefit from the state’s fortunes are looking to move to Texas.

In fact, Texas ranked #1 in the nation for population growth according to the latest census release, with the population increasing by nearly half a million people from 2022 to 2023.

Texas has earned a reputation for employment opportunities, which explains why 70% of movers to Texas are Millennials and Gen Z, who are likely labor force participants climbing the career ladder.

Sure, there have been setbacks. Some are worried about the strain on everything from the electrical grid to home insurance costs (which average more than 2x that of California). Recently, economic wobbles also might make new movers hesitate, like auto giant Tesla’s mass layoffs in Austin, where 2,700 workers will have to find new work.

In spite of some speed bumps, by search volume alone, Texas is tops in move searches. At moveBuddha, more people indicate they’re looking to move to Texas than any other state, suggesting last year’s census trends are continuing in 2024.

Texas’ size accounts for much of its popularity by search volume. The highest move ratio in 2024 goes to South Carolina, which sees 2.16 searches for a move to the state than it sees for moves out in 2024. In Texas, 1.36 newcomers arrive for every exit.

Still, according to moveBuddha data, moves into Texas from out of state are consistently more frequent than moves exiting the state.

What’s attracting the new moves? No state income taxes and new jobs brought in by relocating companies have brought in a flood of new residents.

Since 2020, about 165 companies have relocated to Texas; 50% were originally California-based companies. In 2023, Texas topped the list of the highest net tech employment job gains (25,977) and is projected to see a growth in tech occupations of 28% from 2024 to 2034.

Texas doesn’t just need tech workers. Occupations predicted to grow the most from 2020 - 2030 include heavy equipment drivers, agriculture managers, nurses, accountants, teachers, and more (Texas Career Check). Of the top 25 on this list, 14 offer wages higher than the Texas median wage of $68,744 (as of 2023), several of which don’t require a college degree.

In 2024, Texas is the top state for net inflow

Early 2024 data shows that Texas continues to add more newcomers than any other state, as reported in the Q1 2024 Moving Trends Report.

While North Carolina and Florida netted the most newcomers from other states in 2023, Q1 2024 belongs to Texas.

All three southern states offer mild climates, strong economies, and low tax burdens.

2. Which states are fueling Texas's growth in 2024?

Texas is attracting California companies — and their residents, too.

According to 2024 mover search data, over 25% of searches for moves into Texas from out of state are from those looking to exit California.

It’s no secret that California has lost both population and political clout over the past few years. A familiar cry is that the state’s young families can’t afford to buy, or sometimes even rent, a home in the state, which also hits them with the highest tax rates in the country and suffers from the highest unemployment.

Both problems evaporate in Texas, a state with no individual income tax already hosting many Californian companies who uprooted for the same reasons. Corporate relocations are partly at play, but so are Californians’ desire for a better quality of life.

The same may be said for Texan transplants from the typically high cost of living or high tax burden states like New York, Washington, and Illinois.

For Floridians, higher average incomes may be the deciding factor. Additionally, Florida took a hit in 2022 when Hurricane Ian convinced some newcomers they weren’t cut out for the storms (or the home insurance premiums that come with them).

The states moving to Texas the most in 2024 so far:

2024 Rank State % of all searches for moves into TX from other states 
1 California 25.7%
2 Florida 6.7%
3 New York 4.9%
4 Washington 4.4%
5 Illinois 4.1%
6 North Carolina 3.2%
7 Virginia 3.2%
8 Georgia 3.2%
9 Arizona 2.9%
10 Ohio 2.7%


And which states do Texas folks want to move to the most in 2024?

When TX residents choose to leave the state, which states are they headed to the most?

We looked at all queries for moves exiting Texas into other states in early 2024 and found which are most popular for moves exiting the Lone Star State. The top destinations are California, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, and Washington.

Ironically, some Texans are bucking the California exodus trend for Texas and heading in the other direction. Part of the lure of the West Coast may be a big paycheck for those who make the move.

But the two states Texas is really losing out to in the exchange game are Colorado and North Carolina. These states boast more “purple” or liberal politics to Texas’s red state vibes and plenty of outdoor recreation with attractive weather.


2024 Rank State % of all searches for moves exiting TX to other states
1 California 11.3%
2 Florida 8.7%
3 Colorado 6.1%
4 North Carolina 6.0%
5 Washington 5.8%
6 New York 5.0%
7 Virginia 3.9%
8 Illinois 3.5%
9 Georgia 3.4%
10 Arizona 2.9%

4. Which Texas cities everyone wants to move to in 2024?

When we analyze our moveBuddha data, we compare how many people are moving into an area compared to how many are moving out. This helps us identify areas which are quickly gaining popularity. At moveBuddha, we call this measure an in-to-out move ratio.

Using this calculation, we found the Texas cities that are the most popular to move to in 2024, so far.

Move to Rank (of TX cities) City, ST 2024 In-to-Out Ratio
1 Cypress, TX 2.46
2 Conroe, TX 2.30
3 Katy, TX 2.21
4 Sugar Land, TX 1.94
5 Leander, TX 1.91
6 Frisco, TX 1.68
7 Temple, TX 1.65
8 Tyler, TX 1.64
9 Georgetown, TX 1.52
10 Grapevine, TX 1.4
11 Plano, TX 1.35
12 College Station, TX 1.3
13 San Antonio, TX 1.29
14 Round Rock, TX 1.25
15 Amarillo, TX 1.24
16 Houston, TX 1.22
17 McKinney, TX 1.21
18 Fort Worth, TX 1.19
19 Dallas, TX 1.18
20 Arlington, TX 1.18


Texas Triangle Suburbs Are Big Winners

What are new movers seeking? Existing economic resources with land to build new, affordable housing.

The Texas Triangle, the megaregion that includes the state’s largest cities, is seeing the most growth. In fact, just one of the top 10 cities in Texas lie outside this region: #8 Tyler, and just one other when we look at the top 20, #15 Amarillo. Most newcomers settle in already populous areas.

Within the region, Houston suburbs are seeing outsized interest from movers. The top 4 cities all lie in the Houston metro area.

Why? For starters, the metro regained 150% of pandemic job losses. It may also be because the suburbs in Houston still offer affordable homes, and movers are taking note.

In Cypress, the median home price is on par with the national average. The area is dominated by large, new-build and master-planned communities, with lakefront boat slips, lazy rivers, crystal lagoons, and two-golf-cart lifestyles.

The median home price in both Conroe and Katy is under $350,000, less than the national cost of $354K according to Zillow's Neural Zestimate.

City, State March 2024 Zillow Home Value Index
Cypress, TX $407,643
Conroe, TX $324,053
Katy, TX $348,726
Sugar Land, TX $446,624
U.S. Homes 354,179


In the meantime, Austin-area small towns turned “hot” real estate markets keep drawing in new moves, though domestic migration isn’t keeping pace with the stratospheric growth of Dallas and Houston suburbs this year. Leander and Georgetown make the top ten cities for in-moves in 2024, though both are also top-25 for median home prices in Texas.

Finally, never-ending job opportunities in Dallas suburbs like Frisco and Plano keep driving new moves.

Texas’s top metros are seeing the most growth in outlying suburbs. Let’s look at how each metro is growing:

#1 Houston's Hot: There are twice as many looking to move into Cypress, Conroe, Katy, and Sugarland than out

Houston metro area was #2 for population increase from 2022 to 2023 according to census data, growing by 140K during that period. Dallas took the #1 spot last year, but Houston may pull ahead in 2024.

The latest movebuddha data shows Houston cities taking the top 4 spots by in-to-out moves: Katy, Conroe, Cypress, and Sugar Land.

That gels with home sale figures showing sky-high home sales in the Houston area. The Houston MSA was the top metro area for master-planned community sales in 2023, with 12 communities in the top 50. Communities located in both Katy and Cypress feature multiple times on this ranking including Sunterra (Katy), Bridgeland (Cypress), Marvida (Cypress), and Tamarron (Katy).

The reality is that growth is happening all the far reaches of Houston once known for outdoor recreation, but increasingly known for affordable housing developments for families who commute only sometimes.

Though housing prices in the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin metro areas have all jumped nearly 50% since 2019, Houston-area home costs haven't risen quite as rapidly. According to Zillow, the average area home costs about $308K as of March 2024.

Metro Area Home values March 2019 Home values March 2024
% change since 2019
Austin, TX $312,628 $465,786 49%
Dallas, TX $253,652 $378,265 49%
Houston, TX $218,384 $307,971 41%
San Antonio, TX $206,113 $287,871 40%

The U.S. average as of March 2024: $354K

#2 Austin's Leander and Georgetown Continue to Draw New Moves

With Leander and Georgetown in Texas’s top-ten move-to towns, the Austin area isn’t out of fashion yet.

While the hilly northern outskirts of Austin saw red-hot interest in previous years, they’re still seeing regular-hot interest.

Why? Maybe because both cities lie closer to North Austin’s many tech companies.

For those interested in moving, buying a home in the Austin metro area will set you back about $150,000 more than it did just 5 years ago, on average.  But in Leander or Georgetown, homes cost about 100K less than they do in the city of Austin.

City Home values March 2019 Home values March 2024
Austin, TX $373,057 $546,619
Leander, TX $301,037 $458,754
Georgetown, TX $310,728 $444,572

#3 Dallas Keeps Getting Bigger and Bigger

Frisco is Texas’ second-most expensive area (of the top move-to cities) to buy a home, but that’s not stopping the Northside burbs from their high-speed growth.

The census has already seen top growth rates in eastside rural counties like Kaufman, Rockwall, and Ellis from 2022 to 2023. Where else should make waves in 2024?

Along with #6 Frisco, Grapevine, Plano, McKinney, Fort Worth, Dallas, and Arlington are all among the top 20 cities in Texas earning more in-moves than out.

Looking only at the biggest cities, our May 2024 update to the monthly moving trends report finds that Frisco and Plano are two of the Texas cities leading the pack when we look only at big Texas cities (population greater than 175K).

What else can the DFW claim? It's home to Propser, 2023's top move-to city in Texas.

#4 San Antonio? Amarillo? Where’s the Next Hot Spot?

It's San Antonio's turn to step into the spotlight. Census data shows that the city had the largest numeric gain from July 2022 to July 2023.

2024 data shows the region remains attractive to Americans looking to move to Texas. moveBuddha's May 2024 monthly report found San Antonio the biggest city (population + 1 million) with the highest move in-to-out ratio.

But other cities outside the Triangle are also poised for growth.

For example, #15 Amarillo boasts a stronger inflow ratio than Houston. Because its population is smaller, a fast rate of incoming moves has a big impact.

The same is true for #8 Tyler. The city was among the top 10 move-to cities in Texas in 2023 and is still in the top 10 in early 2024.
Unsurprisingly, the city has seen significant economic growth. A new development from YellaWood is expected to bring a capital investment of over $40 million. Area job growth is expected to outpace the nation as well, according to some reports. This steady stream of growth will continue to power this thriving Texas city and draw in an increasing number of new residents.

As San Antonio, Amarillo, and Tyler demonstrate unique growth dynamics, they are emerging as significant contenders for those considering a move to Texas, potentially reshaping the state's popular relocation landscape.

Can Texas Keep Getting Bigger in 2024?

Texas seems to be on a mission to match its physical size with its population. And it’s succeeding, with the biggest move interest in the nation.

So far in 2024, exurbs with more affordable home prices dominate new move searches and should see a continued flow of newcomers. Suburbs with increased housing prices often see slowing interest but remain popular destinations.

It’s all leading to a Texas-sized mega-city, in which Eastern Texas benefits from a large economic base. As more new Texans pour in, the talent pool, opportunities, housing starts, and even the number of barbecue joints grow, too.

When will Texas stop growing? That’s a little like asking when Americans will start seeking out higher home costs, fewer jobs, and wintery weather.

Until then, expect more cities, more people, and yes, more barbecue.

5. Sources and Methodology

This report primarily uses moveBuddha proprietary data. For understanding the cost of area homes we use Zillow’s Home Value Index.

moveBuddha proprietary data

moveBuddha collects mover search queries via their Moving Cost Calculator which amounts to half a million searches annually from people wanting to move, this includes everything from a DIY move to a full-service move and everything in-between. This data provides real-time insights into where people are moving to and leaving from, including popular cities and states

  • Data used in this report spans from January 1, 2020 through April 17, 2024 capturing searches by individuals planning a move.
  • Search data amounts to over half a million searches annually.
  • For state-level analysis we only look at moves crossing state borders.
  • For city-level analysis, we only included cities with a minimum of 25 inbound queries and 25 outbound queries.
  • More information about our move data can be found in our annual Migration Report.

The moveBuddha in-to-out  ratio 

  • In moveBuddha migration reports, our analysts primarily use an in-to-out move ratio. The in-to-out ratio is calculated by taking the number of searches for moves divided by the number of searches for moves out of a city or state.
  • A ratio greater than 1 indicates higher inflow than outflow.
  • A ratio less than 1 indicates higher outflow.

Sample data:

Example state or city 2023 In-to-Out Ratio 2023 In-to-Out Ratio (x100) 2024 In-to-Out Ratio 2024 In-to-Out Ratio (x100) % point change from 2023 to 2024
Texas 1.15 115 1.35 135 17%
Cypress, Texas 1.65 165 2.46 246 49%
Leander, Texas 1.57 157 1.91 191 22%



Texas's in-to-out ratio rose 17 percentage points from 2023 to early 2024. In 2023 there were 115 moves in for every 100 headed out, and that inflow climbed up to 135 moves in for every 100 out in early 2024.
Cypress, Texas saw 165 moves in for every 100 out in 2023; in 2024, that ratio rose 49 points to 246 moves in for every 100 out.
Leander, Texas saw 157 moves in for every 100 out in 2023; in 2024, that ratio rose 22 points to 191 moves in for every 100 out.

Zillow — Zillow Home Value Index city data

The Zillow Home Value Index or ZHVI provides us with the typical home value within each city at a given period of time.


Not what you were looking for?

Check out other categories that can help you find the information you need!

See All
Hide All