The Top City Everyone Wants to Move to in Every State in 2024

As COVID-era “Zoomtowns” and the urban exodus fade into history, which city in every state is most popular for Americans who want to move now?  

Between 2020 and 2023, the fastest-growing cities exploded with incoming remote workers who wanted to live larger and cheaper. And many sought homeownership — buying a home is a key factor in where Americans choose to put down roots.

But the fastest-growing cities of 2021 or 2022 aren’t the boomtowns of today.  So why are we relying on backward-looking census data to tell us where Americans want to move now?

Using search data from the moveBuddha Moving Cost Calculator we can find out where people are planning to move in 2024. We gathered searches made from July 2023 to March 2024 with a “planned move date” at any point in 2024.

Not all will finalize their moves. We won’t know for sure where today’s movers are going until 2024’s census data becomes available in the spring of 2025, but their interest can tell us a lot about their dreams and plans for the coming year before they even move.

So, what cities are Americans loving the most, by state, for their 2024 moves?

Rank City, State in-to-out ratio
1 The Villages, Florida 4.38
2 Asheville, North Carolina 3.29
3 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 3.22
4 Billings, Montana 2.41
5 Decatur, Georgia 2.39
6 Chattanooga, Tennessee 2.21
7 Conroe, Texas 2.14
8 Cheyenne, Wyoming 2.13
9 Burlington, Vermont 2.11
10 Boulder, Colorado 2.10
11 Eugene, Oregon 2.00
12 Little Rock, Arkansas 1.97
13 Henderson, Nevada 1.95
14 Boise, Idaho 1.88
15 Olympia, Washington 1.59
16 Anchorage, Alaska 1.58
17 Charlottesville, Virginia 1.55
18 Des Moines, Iowa 1.50
19 Wilmington, Delaware 1.48
20 Honolulu, Hawaii 1.48
21 Overland Park, Kansas 1.47
22 Sioux Falls, South Dakota 1.46
23 Hartford, Connecticut 1.45
24 Grand Rapids, Michigan 1.45
25 Portland, Maine 1.41

Big Takeaways

  • Progressive arts and outdoor cities rule: Asheville, Billings, Chattanooga, Boulder, and Burlington all rank in the top ten with the highest mover in-to-out ratio of all states.
  • 23 cities boast below-average home prices. The median cost of a home in the top cities in each state was slightly above the US average at ~$375K, ranging from $136K in Dayton, OH, to $959K in Boulder, CO.
  • The urban exodus is over. While the average city across these top cities is home to about 200K people, top move-to city populations range from 650K in Boston to just under 25K in Decatur, GA.
  • The big cities attracting moves have small(ish) home prices, such as Boise City, Little Rock, Sioux Falls, and Des Moines.

Fastest-Growing: The Top 10 Move-to Cities of 2024

The top 10 cities highlight a variety of preferences but underscore a common desire for quality of life, community, and affordability.

5 of the top cities are cultural havens nested in nature, such as Boulder, Asheville, Burlington, Chattanooga, and Billings. While Cheyenne, Decatur, and Conroe highlight the interest in smaller urban areas, we and, of course, top retiree destinations like The Villages and Myrtle Beach round out the list.

The Villages is a racehorse that’s outpacing every other city in the country for growth. Fueled by a “silver tsunami”, this Baby Boomtown has been on the rise for a decade and shows no signs of slowing down in 2024. With baby boomers reaching retirement age through 2031, the Florida destination is poised for even more growth in years to come. After all, where else can you make a golf cart your primary vehicle?

While real estate prices are key in move decisions, the fastest-growing destinations aren’t necessarily those with the lowest real estate prices. The top ten, for example, have an average home value of $422,988, which is more than the average of all the top-growing cities ($374,015). Because so many high move-out cities in the US have sky-high housing costs, it’s likely that above-average home prices in highly desirable cities feel like bargains to newcomers.

Even still, four of these cities all have homes under the average U.S. home value ($343K): Myrtle Beach, Decatur, Chattanooga, and Conroe. In fact, Conroe is one of the fastest-growing affordable suburbs.

Ultimately, cities on this list balance recreational, cultural, and economic opportunities with affordability, space, and size. The balance seems to be worth it for many movers in 2024.

City, State In-to-out ratio
The Villages, Florida
438 moves in to 100 out
Asheville, North Carolina
329 moves in to 100 out
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
322 moves in to 100 out
Billings, Montana
241 moves in to 100 out
Decatur, Georgia
239 moves in to 100 out
Chattanooga, Tennessee
221 moves in to 100 out
Conroe, Texas
214 moves in to 100 out
Cheyenne, Wyoming
213 moves in to 100 out
Burlington, Vermont
211 moves in to 100 out
Boulder, Colorado
210 moves in to 100 out

The 10 Top Move-To Cities with the Lowest Home Prices in 2024

Looking for the most housing bang for your buck? Check out these desirable gems in affordable communities that are catching the attention of movers right now.

Five winning cities even have housing under the $200K mark: Dayton, OH; Hartford, CT; Tulsa, OK; Des Moines, IA; and Champaign, IL.

The Midwest isn’t known for its desirability. An unglamorous workhorse for centuries, it’s used to being called the “Rust Belt” and taking snowstorm jokes on the chin. But there’s a renaissance in the region that’s being dubbed a climate oasis. Want fewer earthquakes, smog days, and wildfire scares?

Your most affordable option is Dayton, OH. Once home to high-flying bicycle salesmen Orville and Wilbur Wright, Dayton still has close ties to aviation with nearby Wright Patterson Air Force base. Residents enjoy their human-sized city, and make quick trips to Columbus or Cincinnati when they need the scratch their major league sports or big concert itch.

What’s the most popular of the cheap locales? That’s Little Rock, which is seeing almost double the number of move-ins as move-outs this year. With a thriving music scene and plenty of mountain biking trails, it’s an oasis for the kind of quality of life that defines cities that are up and coming in 2024. Oh, and it’s also a “secret foodie city” you never knew about. So grab a fork.

City, State In-to-out ratio Home Values
Dayton, Ohio 117 moves in to 100 out $135,708
Hartford, Connecticut 145 moves in to 100 out $163,072
Tulsa, Oklahoma 111 moves in to 100 out $190,614
Des Moines, Iowa 150 moves in to 100 out $190,948
Champaign, Illinois 132 moves in to 100 out $196,044
Little Rock, Arkansas 197 moves in to 100 out $202,606
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 104 moves in to 100 out $216,662
Fort Wayne, Indiana 118 moves in to 100 out $217,257
Springfield, Missouri 112 moves in to 100 out $221,663
Louisville, Kentucky 124 moves in to 100 out $229,026

The 10 Top Move-To Cities with the Highest Home Values in 2024

Boulder is an outlier on this list, where we’ve found affordability is crucial, if not overriding.

Rather than being a treasure of affordability, Boulder has some of the highest housing prices in the country. But with its college-town culture, mountain lifestyle, and high annual sun hours close to the economic hub of Denver, people are still pouring in. They’ll pay $958,651 for an average home here. Regardless, Boulder still comes in at #10 of all the states for the sheer number of in-moves (double that of the city’s out-moves).

If the most expensive cities have one thing in common, it’s that you’ll find it hard to score a better housing deal elsewhere in the state.

From California to Hawaii, Massachusetts, Washington, and Vermont, the most expensive desirable cities are holding their own against other in-state cities with their quality of life amenities, though their prices mirror statewide trends.

City, State In-to-out ratio Home Values
Boulder, Colorado 210 moves in to 100 out $958,651
Honolulu, Hawaii 148 moves in to 100 out $777,298
Boston, Massachusetts 110 moves in to 100 out $711,533
Palm Springs, California 123 moves in to 100 out $657,112
Santa Fe, New Mexico 129 moves in to 100 out $559,380
Portland, Maine 141 moves in to 100 out $522,530
Olympia, Washington 159 moves in to 100 out $508,088
St. George, Utah 139 moves in to 100 out $499,485
Burlington, Vermont 211 moves in to 100 out $496,356
Henderson, Nevada 195 moves in to 100 out $462,414

How searches for moves in 2024 challenge yesterday's moving trends

Searches for new moves into 2024's top cities in each state don't align with census population growth metrics from 2021 to 2022.

In fact, three cities in our top ten had negative population growth from 2021 to 2022, suggesting that Americans’ moving patterns are undergoing a shift. The cities we see Americans wanting to move to more today than in 2022? They’re Asheville, NC, Cheyenne, WY, and Burlington, VT.

Americans are prioritizing the cost of home ownership in 2024 moves. While the average home cost across these 50 cities is higher than US norms, in 23 of the cities, home prices fall under the national average.

In the end, it seems that the remote work revolution has permanently impacted some destinations: large cities are notably absent from the winners’ circle.

About half of our winners (21, to be exact) are small cities with 100,000 to 300,000 residents, and no city has more than a million inhabitants. That may indicate that the nation’s largest cities aren’t the best spots to nurture a career in 2024, and movers are prioritizing smaller economies with higher quality of life.

Cool Towns are Topping Big Cities in 2024

Want to enjoy the lectures and arts a college town brings to the community? Olympia, Burlington, Boulder, and Eugene could be your ticket.

Want to retire to a place with great vibes? Chattanooga, Palm Springs, Asheville, Myrtle Beach, and The VIllages offer a great mix of climate and activities.

Ready to lace up a new pair of hiking boots? Try mountain towns Billings, Burlington, and Boulder.

The most popular cities in each state tend to have a few things in common: they’re chock full of value for the money, with many growing cities priced affordably in their regions. From music to food, culture, and recreation, they’re often small towns that are big on fun.

Are big cities out for 2024? It looks that way. If one thing remains on the moving landscape from the COVID era, it’s a continued emphasis on life-work balance. We’re happy that trend isn’t going anywhere.


To determine the top move-to city in every state, we looked at moveBuddha's most recent mover search data to compile a list of moves planned for 2024. The data used for this analysis includes searches made at any time between July 1, 2023, and March 3, 2024, where searches indicated they were planning to move at any time in 2024.

Only cities with at least 25 searches for moves both in and out were considered, resulting in three states (Mississippi, North Dakota, and West Virginia) being excluded due to a lack of sufficiently representative city-specific data.

There were four states that didn't have a single city in the dataset with a in-to-out ratio greater than "1" meaning there was not technically a top "move to" city according to mover search data. These cities, instead, were the least "moved out" of cities in their state:

  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Omaha, Nebraska

We also used Zillow Home Value Index data (Jan 2024) for home averages and U.S. Census population estimates.

Full list of the top cities in each state:

State City, ST 2022 Pop Estimate in-to-out ratio
Zillow Home Prices Jan 2024
Alabama Huntsville, AL 221,933 1.40 $271,123
Alaska Anchorage, AK 287,145 1.58 $359,200
Arizona Tucson, AZ 546,574 1.13 $323,756
Arkansas Little Rock, AR 202,864 1.97 $202,606
California Palm Springs, CA 45,223 1.23 $657,112
Colorado Boulder, CO 105,485 2.10 $958,651
Connecticut Hartford, CT 120,686 1.45 $163,072
Delaware Wilmington, DE 71,569 1.48 $292,876
Florida The Villages, FL 79108 4.38 $402,445
Georgia Decatur, GA 24,338 2.39 $293,296
Hawaii Honolulu, HI 343,421 1.48 $777,298
Idaho Boise, ID 236,634 1.88 $462,151
Illinois Champaign, IL 89,241 1.32 $196,044
Indiana Fort Wayne, IN 267,927 1.18 $217,257
Iowa Des Moines, IA 211,034 1.50 $190,948
Kansas Overland Park, KS 197,726 1.47 $418,682
Kentucky Louisville, KY 624,444 1.24 $229,026
Louisiana New Orleans, LA 369,749 0.93 $241,439
Maine Portland, ME 68,424 1.41 $522,530
Maryland Frederick, MD 82,175 1.31 $436,284
Massachusetts Boston, MA 650,706 1.10 $711,533
Michigan Grand Rapids, MI 196,908 1.45 $261,008
Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 425,096 1.41 $302,690
Mississippi N/A N/A N/A N/A
Missouri Springfield, MO 170,067 1.12 $221,663
Montana Billings, MT 119,960 2.41 $368,650
Nebraska Omaha, NE 485,153 0.98 $268,076
Nevada Henderson, NV 331,415 1.95 $462,414
New Hampshire Manchester, NH 115,141 1.03 $382,580
New Jersey Newark, NJ 305,344 0.72 $435,442
New Mexico Santa Fe, NM 89,008 1.29 $559,380
New York Albany, NY 100,826 1.24 $280,732
North Carolina Asheville, NC 93776 3.29 $453,415
North Dakota N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ohio Dayton, OH 135,944 1.17 $135,708
Oklahoma Tulsa, OK 411,867 1.11 $190,614
Oregon Eugene, OR 177,923 2.00 $454,475
Pennsylvania Pittsburgh, PA 302,898 1.04 $216,662
Rhode Island Providence, RI 189,563 0.66 $368,130
South Carolina Myrtle Beach, SC 38,417 3.22 $299,609
South Dakota Sioux Falls, SD 202,078 1.46 $311,408
Tennessee Chattanooga, TN 184,086 2.21 $287,863
Texas Conroe, TX 101,405 2.14 $317,643
Utah Saint George, UT 102,519 1.39 $499,485
Vermont Burlington, VT 44,595 2.11 $496,356
Virginia Charlottesville, VA 45,373 1.55 $457,442
Washington Olympia, WA 55,669 1.59 $508,088
West Virginia N/A N/A N/A N/A
Wisconsin Madison, WI 272,903 1.39 $359,889
Wyoming Cheyenne, WY 64,610 2.13 $351,955


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