Meet the typical mover leaving Texas: Millennial renters making $50,000 a year who are moving to California and Florida

Meet the typical mover leaving Texas: Millennial renters making $50,000 a year who are moving to California and Florida
  • Between 2021 and 2022, about 494,000 people moved out of Texas, according to Census data.
  • Many Texans are moving to California and Oklahoma, though some head to Washington and Illinois.
  • Recent movers from Texas told BI they are enjoying more affordable homes and new life experiences.

Thanks for signing up!

Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you’re on the go.


The typical mover leaving Texas makes just over $50,000, is an unmarried millennial or Gen Zer, and is moving to states including California, Florida, and Oklahoma.

Between 2021 and 2022, over 668,300 people moved into Texas, while about 494,000 people moved out, per the Census Bureau’s tabulation of American Community Survey data.

A Business Insider analysis of individual-level data from the Census Bureau’s 2022 ACS, assembled by the University of Minnesota’s IPUMS program, found that, compared with people moving to Texas, people leaving Texas had slightly lower salaries, were employed at lower rates, and skewed slightly more Gen Z.

On average, though, those moving into and leaving Texas were fairly similar in terms of salary, generational divide, marital status, and employment status.

Several former Texans have told Business Insider in recent months that they left the state to find better weather, cheaper costs of living, slower paces of life, and politics than align more closely with theirs.

The Census data, though, helps us paint a clearer picture of the attributes of people moving out of Texas.

The average salary of people leaving Texas is $50,428 a year. People leaving Texas were 66% employed, with 29% not working or actively looking for work.

Those leaving the state were 37.3% millennial and 31.2% Gen Z. Only 11.4% of people moving to Texas were boomers, who are more likely to be retirees.

Many of the people leaving Texas — 42,300 of them — moved to California, followed by 38,200 who headed to Florida and 26,400 who decamped to Oklahoma.

Among those leaving Texas who were not living in student housing, just 31.8% own a home — compared to the national homeownership rate of 66% in the third quarter of 2023. The average home value among homeowners who left Texas is $472,223.

Marriage rates between those moving from and moving to Texas are rather similar, though a slightly higher percentage of people departing the state are single or unmarried at just under 46%, compared to 44.5% of those moving in. A greater percentage of those moving in are married, at 41.4%, compared to 40.3% of those leaving.

Texans are seeking affordable homes

Business Insider previously spoke with two couples who moved out of Texas — one set went to Georgia, while the other moved farther afield, to France. Both couples sought greater housing affordability and new lifestyles.

Nancy and Jim Cotton together.

Nancy and Jim Cotton.

Courtesy of Nancy Cotton

Nancy, 60, and Jim Cotton, 66, deemed Texas’ high housing costs and climate intolerable. The Cottons previously told Business Insider that despite their love for Texas, they couldn’t continue paying about $24,000 annually in property taxes.

“We wanted a new adventure in retirement, and to live somewhere where we could have the flexibility to stretch our income,” Cotton told BI.

After selling their 4,500-square-foot Austin area home for $1.5 million in 2022, the couple purchased a 2,800-square-foot residence for $696,000 in Ellijay, a remote town 75 miles north of Atlanta. They are now savoring the affordability of rural Georgia, where they are saving around $3,000 each month.

“The county we live in has a property-tax exemption for seniors on school taxes, so now we only pay $1,599 a year.” Cotton said. “Our water, which used to run $300 a month in Texas, is part of a community well, so it doesn’t cost us anything.”

Some movers are chasing small-town life

Raina, 44, and Jason, 43, Willick certainly took affordability into account when departing Texas, but perhaps even more crucial was their desire for a new cultural experience in a smaller town — that happened to be across the Atlantic Ocean.

“In 2021, we briefly moved from Houston to Colorado for better access to nature, but after 18 months we moved to France on an adventure with our 11-year-old daughter,” Willick previously told BI. “We thought it would be cool for our family to live in another culture and to learn a different language.”

The Willicks visiting the Louvre in Paris.

The Willicks visiting the Louvre in Paris.

Courtesy of Raina Willick

In 2022, the couple arrived in Eymet, a medieval village located in southwest France that has a population of about 2,500 people. The Willicks selected the lesser-known town for its remoteness and tight-knit community, aiming to reside in a place that was “more affordable, smaller, and authentic to French life.”

They are now in the process of purchasing a six-bedroom home, built during the French Revolution, for a total of 204,000 euros ($222,000). Similar to the Cottons, the Willicks are relieved at their relatively lower housing costs. Their French home cost $90,000 less than what they sold their Houston home for, and will save about $1,000 to $2,000 annually on property taxes.

“I never imagined that we could have this kind of home at a price that feels really comfortable,” Willick told BI. “And the quality of life that comes with the village — I just never thought that would all come together and be possible.”

Have you recently moved to a new state? Contact these reporters at and

Read More


Never miss any important news. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Get notified about new articles