By on 10.17.19 in Migration, NC in Focus

This is the third installment of a three-part series looking at migration in and out of North Carolina. Read the first and second posts in the series to learn where NC’s residents are moving from and which NC counties are experiencing the largest population increases due to net migration.

In 2017, nearly 367,000 people moved to North Carolina from another state or country and nearly 281,000 North Carolina residents moved out of the state. We’ve already looked at where people are moving from, so where are people who leave NC going?

According to the 2017 American Community Survey data, 241,000 NC residents moved to another state. (This suggests another 40,000 moved to another country. Unfortunately, our ability to analyze detailed migration patterns of prior NC residents is limited to moves made within the United States.) The most common destinations were:

  • South Carolina (31K)
  • Virginia (27K)
  • Florida (24K)
  • New York (14K)
  • Georgia (12K)

Except for Georgia, these states were among the top sending states to North Carolina, highlighting a strong degree of connection between neighboring states (SC and VA) and the Atlantic coast overall (NY and FL).

The most common destinations were: • South Carolina (31K) • Virginia (27K) • Florida (24K) • New York (14K) • Georgia (12K)

Texas, Maryland, and California were also common destinations in 2017. More than 10,000 North Carolina residents moved to one of these states that year.

In contrast, few North Carolina residents moved to North or South Dakota, Vermont, Delaware, or Rhode Island in 2017. (Less than 250, according to the estimates.)

Compared to individuals who did not move out of North Carolina, residents who left for another state were less likely to be native-born North Carolinians. Less than one in four (23%) out-migrants was NC-born while more than half (57%) of North Carolina residents who stayed in North Carolina were born here.

Data Source: Carolina Demography analysis of 2017 American Community Survey data from IPUMS-USA.


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