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The top 10 states people are flocking to

  • Moving out of a city isn't new, but people are going more rural, a study found.
  • Midwestern and southern states with smaller populations are attracting more residents.
  • Some are choosing these states because they're less crowded.

Urban to suburban migration was a common theme during the pandemic, as remote-friendly opportunities opened up a new market for workers to stretch their legs.

Now, people are going even farther outside of the suburbs, particularly to rural states like Idaho and Montana, a new report says.

Smaller states mostly in the South and Midwest are experiencing higher net migration rates per 1,000 residents, according to a report by StorageCafe analyzing data from its sister division Yardi Matrix, as well as US Census data.

All 10 states on the list have populations under 8 million, according to Census estimates for 2022.

This recent crop of movers are motivated by factors outside of home prices and proximity to work — like lifestyle, Doug Ressler, the business intelligence manager at Yardi Matrix, told Insider.

"Montana, Idaho, and Vermont, you can see that in terms of lifestyle really lends itself — it's picturesque," he said. "And you don't have the larger cores and you don't have commute times."

The Sunbelt has dominated in attracting new residents, but those looking for wide-open spaces are also eyeing more northern states like Montana, Vermont, and Idaho — all places with populations below 2 million.

"People don't want to just exist in a place where they live, like an apartment or a home," Ressler said. "They really want more lifestyle advantages, leisure types of things like trails and hiking. That is really driving a lot of what we see in a lot of these less dense areas around the states."

Here are the 10 states that are leading the rankings in net migration, according to StorageCafe.

10. Oklahoma

A woman stands in a small rocky valley with a river.

Lawton, Oklahoma. Gary Kemp Photography/Getty Images

Net migration per 1,000 residents: 9.63

Average household income: $80,792

Unemployment rate: 2.7%

Median home value: $167,039

Average rent: $979

9. Tennessee

Hikers in the forest.

Great Smokey Mountains National Park, Tennessee. UCG/Getty Images

Net migration per 1,000 residents: 9.91

Average household income: $89,538

Unemployment rate: 3.2%

Median home value: $232,630

Average rent: $1,482

8. North Dakota

A man mountainbiking.

Maah Daah Heytrail, North Dakota. Paul Schmidt/Getty Images

Net migration per 1,000 residents: 12.32

Average household income: $95,130

Unemployment rate: 2.0%

Median home value: $219,939

Average rent: $1,044

7. Arizona

A man hikes near the rim of the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon, Arizona Whit Richardson/Getty Images

Net migration per 1,000 residents: 12.49

Average household income: $99,518

Unemployment rate: 3.5%

Median home value: $330,065

Average rent: $1,611

6. Nevada

Bikers on a trail around a lake

Lake Tahoe, Nevada. vernonwiley/Getty Images

Net migration per 1,000 residents: 14.46

Average household income: $96,977

Unemployment rate: 5.4%

Median home value: $371,642

Average rent: $1,512

5. Maine

A hiker overlooks the Acadia Peninsula at sunset.

Acadia Peninsula, Maine. Michael Ver Sprill/Getty Images

Net migration per 1,000 residents: 15.07

Average household income: $98,701

Unemployment rate: 2.4%

Median home value: $251,469

Average rent: $1,852

4. South Carolina

A waxing moon over a beach.

Folly Beach, South Carolina. Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Net migration per 1,000 residents: 15.09

Average household income: $85,682

Unemployment rate: 3.1%

Median home value: $208,903

Average rent: $1,567

3. Montana

A woman fly fishing in a river.

Flathead River, Montana. Lee Cohen/Getty Images

Net migration per 1,000 residents: 17.91

Average household income: $94,510

Unemployment rate: 2.4%

Median home value: $319,228

Average rent: $1,578

2. Vermont

People skiing down a trail.

Sugarbush Ski Resort, Vermont. capecodphoto/Getty Images

Net migration per 1,000 residents: 23.99

Average household income: $99,485

Unemployment rate: 1.9%

Median home value: $270,708

Average rent: $1,903

1. Idaho

Two people fly fishing in a creek.

Silver Creek, Idaho. Karl Weatherly/Getty Images

Net migration per 1,000 residents: 24.54

Average household income: $96,736

Unemployment rate: 2.7%

Median home value: $366,120

Average rent: $1,595

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