People Are Moving to North Carolina in Record Numbers. But How Many are Coming and Where do They Want to Live?


With so many people Moving to North Carolina over the past few years, most of us have wound up in this type conversation. “So, where are you from?” A common and simple enough question, right? Of course, it fits politely into almost any conversation. However, if you call the state of North Carolina home and more specifically live in the surrounding Raleigh area, have you noticed in more recent years the answer to this question seeming to change more and more? Well, you are not imagining things. As a matter of fact, there are more people than ever before moving from different states to the “Tar Heel State.”

In this article, we will take a look at some recent figures from one of the foremost experts on “out of state moves” in the United States, U-Haul. Consequently, with help from the research done by the famous moving company, we will not only show you how many people are Moving to North Carolina, but also where they are moving to, and much more.

The Numbers Don’t Lie, Out of Staters are On the Move to NC, But Just How Many People are Moving to North Carolina ?

It’s undeniable. It is noticeable everywhere you go. The overall population numbers across NC are obviously way up. Just look at the new housing and apartment construction going on wherever you live statewide. How about the commercial property being built? These new businesses must have owners. Likewise, they would not be built without a need for their services, a need for jobs, and without a predicted public desire for whatever is built. While yes, this can be to a very small degree be attributed to a higher birth against death rate, that rate is no where near accountable for the amount being seen.

Back to the initial, rhetorical line of questioning that we asked in the introductory paragraph here. Where exactly are they from? Well, to start, let’s look at exactly how many people overall are new to or Moving to North Carolina in recent years. According to the website, the overall statewide population has increased by 848,000 new residents or a total of 8.9 percent 2010 and 2018. This put the state’s total population at 10.4 million people.

While the trend was steady from 2010-2014, the recession period that hit the United States and thus North Carolina as well in 2008 did take a period of recovery where the numbers of people Moving to North Carolina or just moving in general did not climb as high as it may have if there was no economic dip there. Once the aftershock of that period was past, in around 2015, the out of state moves began to become more frequent. It is estimated that between 2015-2018 more than 110,000 people per year were Moving to North Carolina from other states.

Over Three Quarters of a Million Moving to North Carolina since 2010, But Where Did They Come From?

Well, looking at those numbers above, it is fair to say (according again to “Carolina Demography”) that of the estimated 110,000 plus annually added to the NC population, 75 percent are coming from “out of staters,” Moving to North Carolina. An example given is that in the year of 2017, there were 113,000 new residents added in NC. Of those people, 26,000 came from the early spoken of birth against death rate. This gives us 87,000 people Moving to North Carolina from other parts of the country that year. Now, we must also factor in that on top of those completely new residents, an estimated total of 368,000 people total moved into a new residence in NC that same year. Thus, some 281,000 did move away. 

Now, with all those demographics spoken for and explained, people Moving to north Carolina in 2017 from other states totaled 314,000 or 85 percent all “in-migrants” coming to the state. A look closer at these numbers leave us with over a third of those new NC residents coming originally from the top five states that people relocated from. Those states and the estimated number of people Moving to North Carolina from them in 2017 are listed below.

Top Five States “Sending” People to NC

  1. Florida- 32,000
  2. Virginia- 29,000
  3. South Carolina- 27,000
  4. New York- 27,000
  5. California– 20,000

We know they Are Coming; But Why Are they Leaving?

To answer the question posed by the subheading above, one first must realize this may be a two-fold answer. If relocating to another state, whether for work or school, or whatever the reasoning, in almost every long-distance move, there is a specific reason why you have chosen your new destination to call home. However, let us not forget in many cases there also can be reasons or factors that made you want to leave where you were prior, and start fresh in a new location. 

New York to NC: Warm Up and Save

For examples to a give you a clearer picture of this, let us look at the states above. Hat for sure jumps off that list is the state of New York. The writer of this blog post is actually an original New York state resident and can attest to the fact that many people move away to be in another state from NY. Cold, long, difficult winters certainly play into this. To have in some years, 5-7 months of heavily accumulated snow sub-zero temperatures is reasugh for anyone to leave the state. Couple the cold with all around higher ta cost of living, and it is no wonder some many New Yorkers wind up in the “Tar Heel State.”

Moving to North Carolina from Bordering States

Taking a closer look at the other states with a high number of people who have moved to NC, both South Carolina and Virginia are certainly much closer to the NC border. In actuality those two states actually touch the border of North Carolina. That obviously would seem to make it an easier decision to decide upon Moving to North Carolina. A study recently done by Lending Tree would actually support the previous statement. It showed in their research that most people when considering an out of state move will at some point look into or consider moving to a state that borders their own.

To see more on the out of state relocation movers coming to NC, click here for full article. For information on new homes for sale at the South Lakes neighborhood, visit