Millions of Americans are fleeing to red states for lower house prices

A growing number of Americans are ditching Democratic-run cities for Republican suburbs in search of lower taxes and more affordable real estate prices.

In Republican counties, defined by the 2020 presidential vote, about 3.7 million more people have moved in than left over the past four years, according to a Stateline analysis of U.S. Census Bureau estimates and county presidential election data by the University of Michigan. 

By comparison, Democratic counties saw a net loss of 3.7 million residents during that same time period.

Republican suburban counties in four swing states – Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – gained the most new arrivals, while heavily Democratic cities lost the most.

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One reason behind the mass migration is real estate prices, which have surged in many blue states like California and New York. This has prompted more Americans to move to more affordable states, according to a separate analysis by Realtor.com.

In California, for instance, residents who were shopping for an out-of-state home were most commonly looking at listings in Florida, with 10.5% of online views. Texas was a close second, at 7.6%, followed by Arizona at 6.89% and Nevada at 6.5%.

The data indicates that prospective buyers in New York were also looking at homes in many of these Republican strongholds, such as Florida, North Carolina and Ohio.

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Lower taxes and fewer regulations are also enticing many Americans to head to Republican-led states.

Manhattan skyline

Three of the popular destinations – including Texas, Florida and Nevada – do not tax regular income, according to a separate analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, a group that advocates for lower taxes. California and New York, meanwhile, have some of the highest tax burdens in the country.

This shift is reflective of a broader trend.

In 2023, New York, California, Hawaii, Alaska and Illinois lost the most residents as a share of their population, while South Carolina, Delaware, North Carolina, Tennessee and Florida saw the greatest population increase, according to a Tax Foundation analysis of Census data.

“This population shift paints a clear picture: Americans are leaving high-tax, high-cost-of-living states in favor of lower-tax, lower-cost alternatives,” the Tax Foundation said in a blog post.

However, many locals are starting to “bemoan the demise of their small-town way of life” and the skyrocketing home prices that come along with new residents, according to Realtor.com

“Red-state residents don’t care for people coming from blue states,” Cara Ameer, who sells real estate in California and Florida, told Realtor.com. “I have seen resentment in Florida with slogans like ‘Don’t Fauci My Florida.'”

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