Population boom

Houston pulls in ranking as a top magnet for new residents, says report

Houston pulls in ranking as a top magnet for new residents, per report

Houston aerial skyline with traffic on the highway
Newstonians are speeding into town. Art Wager/Getty Images

The "Newstonian" phenomenon is real.

new ranking from PODS, a provider of moving containers, shows the Houston area as the No. 12 destination for its customers from January 2021 through March 2022. Sarasota, Florida, topped the list.

Texas’ three other major metro areas also show up in the ranking:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth, No. 2
  • San Antonio, No. 13
  • Austin, No. 16

None of Texas’ four biggest metro areas broke into PODS’ top 20 for 2020-21.

PODS says it’s “no surprise” that Texas corralled four spots on the 2021-22 list, citing a relatively low cost of living, no state income tax, abundant sunshine, and access to nature and wide open spaces.

“Texas made headlines during the beginning of the pandemic as the new home state to many of Hollywood and Silicon Valley’s elite, putting it on people’s radars as one of the best places to move in the U.S.,” PODS says.

So, where are these folks moving from? Primarily the East and West coasts. PODS says the top places for outbound moves from January 2021 through March 2022 were:

  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco area
  • Chicago
  • Long Island, New York
  • Central New Jersey
  • Seattle
  • Stockton-Modesto, California
  • Hudson Valley, New York
  • Philadelphia

“Something many of these cities have in common? They’re hubs for major industry employers, from technology to politics,” PODS observes. “Employers deciding to permanently adopt working remote policies may be one catalyst for the high number of moves out of these cities. Employees who no longer need to live in big cities or nearby … cities have moved on to cities where they can enjoy a better, or similar, quality of life at a lower cost of living.”

A heads up to potential transplants: This ranking comes not long after two Houston-area suburbs — Missouri City and Atascocita — were named among the best small cities in the U.S