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One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State

2020 was a big year for people migrating from blue to red states. Did folks still move to red states in 2021, and if so, why?

We’re going to examine the trend of people moving to red states, explore why it’s happening, surmise its likelihood of continuing… and what this means to you if you’re planning to make this kind of move. 

The hubby and I have been looking for the best place to live in America (for us) and we came across an article predicting that more people would move to red states in 2022. We know quite a few people who’ve moved to red states in 2021, including:

  • A recruiter friend moved to Texas from California.
  • A real estate broker friend moved from Los Angeles to Austin. 
  • A couple moved last year from Nevada to Idaho. 
  • A Puerto Rico expat friend bought 200 acres in Idaho with plans to move soon.

And many celebrities have made this move too, including:

  • Joe Rogan
  • Ben Shapiro
  • Graham Stephan
  • Chris Harrison
  • James Van Der Beek
  • Elon Musk
US migration patterns

2020 US Migration Patterns

2020 migration reports published by moving companies exposed a massive trend of people moving from blue to red states. 

It is fascinating and unfortunate to see our country continuing to split politically and ideologically in a physical way due to migration. People are either attracted to low taxes, freedom-loving politicians, medical freedom, economic prosperity, strong borders or their not. It looks like they are. Duh.

U-Haul reported that 80% or four of the top five inbound state moves were red: Tennessee, Florida, Texas and Ohio.

United Van Lines reported 60% or three of the top five inbound state moves were red: Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota; and all five top outbound states were blue: New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, and California.

Finally, according to the 2020 National Movers study, 66% or four of the 6 top inbound states gaining new residents were red: Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Florida. All 6 of the high outbound states were blue: California, Washington, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Vermont, and DC.

2021 migration reports will come out soon, so it will be interesting to see how this trend evolves.

Why Shift From Blue to Red?

With the initial pandemic housing rush starting to cool down, will people continue to make these moves?

If you ask the Republican Governors Association why people are moving to red states, they’ll say it’s because those states are focused on creating the best possible environments for businesses, workers, and families to succeed.

People who don’t like the highly-regulated, big government approach of blue state politicians, are fueling this trend.

Ultimately, I think most people just want to live someplace where they feel safe and can succeed in their endeavors, where they can enjoy life with family, friends, and neighbors on their terms, without government interference or coercion.

Another factor is that the cost of living in most red states is generally less expensive and with usually lower taxes than that of blue states.

We also highly recommend watching PragerU’s YouTube video Where Do You Want to Live: Red State or Blue State?

The Great American Divide?

It’s alarming that this trend appears to be accelerating a political, ideological, and physical divide of America. Where will this lead, civil war?

Redfin actually called out “more migration for political reasons” as a trend in its outlook for the housing market in 2022

I suppose it makes sense as we now seem to live in an era where you can’t even talk about politics without someone going off the rails, taking offense, or sending the social media mobs. People vote with their dollars and their feet.

medical freedom for families

The Question of Medical Freedom

I think another big reason driving this movement are the heavy-handed covid policies in some blue states—masks, lockdowns, and most of all, vaccine mandates, really unheard of in the freest country on Earth. People are simply tired of this.

This is exactly the point Michael Snyder makes in this recent article.

He observes that while one side wants the medical freedom to choose whether or not to take an injection, the other side wants to mandate injections for everyone. For example:

  • Mayor de Balsio of New York City just recently announced mandatory vaccinations for all private sector workers.  
  • In Massachusetts, UMass Memorial Health just let go 200 medical professionals who missed its vaccination deadline.
  • Colorado recently launched the SMART Health Card, making it easy for people to show their vaccination status… a gateway to the vaccine passport?
  • Hawaii has already created an inter-island vaccine passport program that exempts vaccinated travelers from testing or quarantining prior to traveling between islands.
  • Oregon is considering making masks mandatory indoors.

As people tire of the pressure to comply, and workers are let go for resisting the experimental injection, they may naturally gravitate towards counties and states where such measures aren’t required.

In fact, South Dakota has actually launched a campaign to encourage frustrated law enforcement officers to move to their state amid blue-city condemnation of the police.

 The Implications for Real Estate

Finally, from an investment perspective, what will this do to home prices in red states? We’ve already seen some incredible price increases there.

According to a recent ReMax housing market report, four of the five cities experiencing the highest home price appreciation year-over-year were in red states:

  1. Boise, ID, 28.8%
  2. Salt Lake City, UT, 27.3%
  3. Raleigh-Durham, NC, 20.8%
  4. Tampa, FL 19.8%

If the influx proves continued for 2021, prices for top-tier red state cities should remain strong.

So if you’re thinking about making this kind of move, it might be smart from an investment perspective to start looking in secondary metros to find better deals.

If you’re thinking of moving to a red state, I’d say don’t wait too long based on the data!

Where to live is a very personal, sometimes complicated choice, and there’s no one right answer for everyone. 

To help you find your perfect place, we recommend using a spreadsheet with weighted scores to help you clearly prioritize your choices. Our free template below can save you hours of time as you weigh your options.

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