More than half a million people left New York in 2022. Here's where they resettled.

It’s no surprise that the cost of living in New York City is one of the highest in the nation. With rising costs, inflation, and more flexible remote work options, it's no wonder many of them have decided to move to more affordable areas.

About 545,500 residents left the Empire State in 2022. Overall in the U.S., 8.2 million people left their state and moved to another one, a 3.8% increase over 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

So where did New Yorkers retreat to in 2022? And what's been driving the migration trend? Here's what we know:

New Yorkers moved to neighboring states

A sign advertises an apartment for rent along a row of brownstone townhouses in the Fort Greene neighborhood on June 24, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
A sign advertises an apartment for rent along a row of brownstone townhouses in the Fort Greene neighborhood on June 24, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

While the largest share of people leaving New York left for Florida (91,201), many moved to neighboring states. New Jersey saw the second largest influx of New Yorkers last year (75,103), followed by Connecticut (50,670) and Pennsylvania (44,807).

New York suffered a net population loss of 244,000 people, despite more people moving to the state in 2022 than any year over the last decade, according to the Census Bureau.

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Which states did New Yorkers avoid?

Wyoming, Montana, Iowa, Mississippi and South Dakota all had fewer than 500 people move from New York in 2022.

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Why did Americans chose to move?

The top reasons Americans moved in 2022 were to improve their quality of life, live in a cheaper area, and get a bigger home. Nearly a quarter of people said quality of life was the most important factor in why they moved states, according to a survey from Home Bay, a California-based real estate brokerage.

New York Migration trends

These states had the largest influx of former New York residents in 2022:

  • Florida: 91,201

  • New Jersey: 75,103

  • Connecticut: 50,670

  • Pennsylvania: 44,807

  • California: 31,255

  • Texas: 30,890

  • North Carolina: 25,024

  • Massachusetts: 21,186

  • Virginia: 17,516

  • Georgia: 16,535

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Half a million New Yorkers left state in 2022. Where they went and why.