25 Most Popular Large Cities To Relocate

Nowadays, it seems everyone is searching for that perfect balance between big city life and small-town charm.

Major urban hubs like San Francisco, Chicago, and Philadelphia are dominate when it comes to the volume of people moving in and out on a regular basis.

But, large, “2nd tier” cities are starting to make a comeback in popularity, especially among millennials.

Popular Large City List Relocate 2017 moveBuddha
Photo Credit: Ron Cogswell

But exactly which large cities are people moving to?

To measure the most popular large cities in the US, we looked at data from our move cost calculator to determine which large cities were most searched as destinations for relocation in 2017.

From the data, we compiled a list of the 25 most popular large cities with populations between 100,000 and 200,000 in the United States.

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25. Pasadena, CA

Population: 142,059

Pasadena, CA

By Ken Lund from Reno, Nevada, USA – Union Street and Fair Oaks, Old Pasadena, Pasadena, California, CC BY-SA 2.0,

24. The Woodlands, TX

Population: 109,679

23. Rochester, MN

Population: 114,011

22. Columbia, MD

Population: 103,467

21. Pueblo, CO

Population: 110,291

“Pueblo is unique for a city its size, in that it maintains a small-town feel. In this friendly, diverse community everyone is welcome. It’s common for people, even complete strangers to nod and smile as they pass each other on the street or hold the door for the person behind them. Pueblo is optimally located along the front range of Colorado Rockies and it benefits from a warmer more arid desert climate, yet still close to the San Juan and Sangre De Cristo mountain ranges. Residents enjoy year-round outdoor activities and a more secluded outdoor experience. Whether you’re looking for the convenience of urban and suburban living or the rural experience of peaceful open spaces and dark skies, Pueblo offers both at a reasonable price. ”

Sam Azad, City Manager

20. Santa Rosa, CA

Population: 175,155

19. Grand Rapids, MI

Population: 196,445

Grand Rapids, MI

By Rachel Kramer, CC BY 2.0,

18. Fargo, ND

Population: 120,762

17. McAllen, TX

Population: 142,269

“McAllen is a great place to live, work and play,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling. “People are moving to McAllen because of our great quality of life, including amazing weather; low crime rate; countless outdoor and indoor entertainment options for the young and young at heart; premier retail shopping locations; excellent education and healthcare systems; a beautiful, bicultural community; and the friendliest neighbors around. Come to McAllen and find out for yourself!”

Mayor Jim Darling

16. Knoxville, TN

Population: 186,239

15. Cedar Rapids, IA

Population: 131,127

14. Gainesville, FL

Population: 124,354

Gainesville, FL

By Flatwoods 36 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

13. Little Rock, AR

Population: 198,541

12. Round Rock, TX

Population: 120,892

11. Columbia, MO

Population: 120,612

“Time and time again, visitors are delightfully surprised by what Columbia has to offer. From picturesque parks and clever cuisine to amazing art and superb shopping, visitors find that Columbia is ‘more than a college town’ and ‘surprisingly sophisticated.’ We like to think of Columbia as a cool neighborhood in a big city, with a young vibe, an active buzz, and an engaged community. We’re also a friendly and welcoming community, with a thriving downtown and an abundance of cultural opportunities.”

Como Tourism

10. Ann Arbor, MI

Population: 120,782

Ann Arbor, MI

By Dwight Burdette – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

9. Bellevue, WA

Population: 141,400

8. Santa Clara, CA

Population: 119,525

Santa Clara, CA

By Raman Patel, CC BY 3.0,

7. Richardson, TX

Population: 108,617

6. Overland Park, KS

Population: 188,966

5. Norfolk, VA

Population: 246,393

4. Alexandria, VA

Population: 153,511

Alexandria, VA

By Fletcher – Own work, CC BY 4.0,

3. Boulder, CO

Population: 108,090

2. Fort Collins, CO

Population: 164,207

1. Fort Lauderdale, FL

Population: 178,752

Fort Lauderdale, FL

By Rstepp at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Jorunn using CommonsHelper., Public Domain,

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