Moving trends in DC area – 2022 edition

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The DC area is one of the busiest places in the United States. Since the nation’s capital is there, there are many politicians, lobbyists, businessmen, and other professionals who frequently move in and out of the area. Many aspiring young people are also headed there in search of a new job opportunity, but there are also many people who go the other way around. They would prefer to live in a different place, and many factors contribute to that decision. In this article, we’ll explore the moving trends in DC area. What is it that makes people search for affordable movers DC has to offer and start their relocation in each direction? Let’s find out.

What exactly constitutes DC area? 

DC area is an umbrella term that covers multiple regions. Also known as the Washington metropolitan region, it includes the following areas:

  • District of Columbia
  • Montgomery and Prince Georges counties in Maryland
  • Arlington and Fairfax counties in Virginia
  • Cities of Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia
Washington DC downtown
Many factors come into play for the moving trends in DC area, but the job market is one of the biggest ones

As you can see, the area includes several other states as well. It has a population of around 6,400,000 people as per the 2020 US Census. It is the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the US. Fun fact: it’s the most educated metropolitan area in the nation! That’s not surprising at all, given the importance of this region. The federal government is located there, as well as other public and private companies with close ties to it. No wonder many people decide to find reliable local movers DC area has to offer and make this place their new home. However, when people say ‘DC area’, they usually mean just Washington DC and the closeby region right around it. That’s what we will focus on here. Let’s see what the data shows about the moving trends in DC area.

Why are people moving out there? 

According to the USPS data, over the past 2 years, there’s been a rapid increase in net moves out of Washington DC. To be exact, there has been a year-over-year increase of 17,852 net moves out of the city! That’s a whopping 250% increase in outward relocations. So what is the main factor behind this phenomenon? The answer is the housing market price rise. As we’ve already mentioned, the DC area is the home of many people in high positions and important functions. That in turn attracts various businesses and housing developers, who want to capitalize on that opportunity. Many areas in Washington and its surrounding region are being gentrified and modernized. This inevitably makes the prices of homes soar, as well as the cost of living index. 

The cost of living index in Washington DC is 150. That means its residents have to pay 50% more for housing, groceries, and utilities than the average American! The average rent there goes between $1,573 and $2,569, depending on the location and neighborhood. Obviously, the closer you are to the White House, the more expensive your rent will be. If you want to buy a home instead of renting it, that will also cost you a pretty penny. The average home value there is $681,691, with an average 2% increase year-over-year. The housing market there is also very competitive. Many people want to move there and pursue a better life, regardless of the increasing amount of people leaving. If you want to move here, you’ll be glad to know we are one of the top-rated Washington DC movers!

Suburban home
Another big reason that explains the moving trends in DC area is the rising cost of homes

Moving trends of people moving to DC area

Let’s see which states and cities have the most people moving into the DC area. The top 10 states sending people to the DC area are: 

  1. Virginia
  2. California
  3. Maryland
  4. New York
  5. Florida
  6. Texas
  7. Illinois
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Michigan
  10. Georgia

You’ll notice a few things here. First of all, the states with the largest populations in the US like California. Florida and New York are in the top 5. Secondly, the neighboring states of Virginia and Maryland are also in the top 3. That is most likely because of how close Washington is to these states. Many job opportunities are available here, and people from the area want to capitalize on them. Moving is also easy, as there are many reliable local movers MD, and other states have to offer. But let’s get more specific. What are the top 5 cities with the most people coming this way? 

Arlington, VA

At the very top of the list is Arlington. This city is very close to Washington, and the main reason people move here is jobs. No wonder why many moving companies Northern VA has to offer are frequently driving back and forth between the two. So many young professionals wish to work for the federal government or in its realm. The city itself has almost 240,000 residents and is frequently found on many lists of the best places to live in the entire United States. The average home value there is $759,000 and the average rent is around $2,000. The difference in home values and cost of living index is almost non-existent, so many people find this relocation to be very easy. They wouldn’t have to get used to it and spend more money than before. 

New York, NY

The second entry on our list is the Big Apple. New York sees many people leave it for Washington mostly because of the difference in prices. Even though Washington is not a cheap place to leave, it is certainly cheaper than New York. To be exact, it is 18% cheaper. Food, entertainment, housing, utilities, literally everything is cheaper in Washington. There are certainly no differences in available jobs in both cities, as they are both places that attract many companies of the highest caliber. Such companies want only the best young professionals available, so it’s no wonder why there are so many migrations between the two towns.

Aerial shot of New York, city placed second in inbound moving trends in DC area
While both great cities in their own rights, a lot of New Yorkers choose Washington DC as their new home

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles is yet another great city sending a lot of people to Washington DC. Just like New York, Los Angeles is also a place with a lot of great opportunities for living and working. However, Los Angeles is a completely different place to live when compared to Washington. LA is much more laid back, in every sense of the word. The climate is completely different, for starters. It’s always sunny and warm, the ocean is right there, beaches are gorgeous. However, it can be a very hectic place to live. Many people decide to switch it up completely and move to Washington to live a more peaceful life. The crime index is lower and the ambient is more work-oriented. 

Even though they are located on completely different sides of the US, moving to Washington doesn’t have to be complicated. The best way to ensure a relocation goes smoothly is to hire the best long distance movers DC you can find and find your new job and home before moving! 

Brooklyn, NY

Another great city in the state of New York, Brooklyn sits in the 4th place on the list of places sending the most people to Washington. Brooklyn is 15% more expensive than Washington, and that’s the main reason why people choose to leave it. If you can go elsewhere and spend less money on necessities, why wouldn’t you? People of Brooklyn also spend on average 13 minutes more commuting versus Washington residents. There are much fewer traffic jams and the roads, in general, are in much better condition. 

A key in the door
Atlanta GA is a great place to live

Atlanta, GA

This is the city with the fifth-highest amount of people moving to Washington. This may come as a surprise to many! Atlanta is 11% cheaper than Washington in all areas. You would have to earn more to maintain the same lifestyle as in Atlanta if you decide to move here. But that doesn’t stop these Atlanta natives from moving here. Once again, the main drive behind these relocations is job opportunities. It also offers many great jobs, but Washington is simply different. We’ve already covered that in our previous entry, so we won’t dwell again on this topic. 

What are the outbound moving trends in DC area like? 

Now, let’s focus on the outbound moving trends in DC area. Where are the people from Washington moving to the most? Let’s find out. 

Seattle, WA

Most people that move out of Washington DC are going to Seattle. This great city offers some benefits that Washington simply can’t. For starters, even though it’s a big and busy city, it has a 27% lower population density. The average salary is higher by $1,200 and rent is on average cheaper by about $250. The job market is relatively the same, with Seattle having a 1.3% lower unemployment rate. So it’s obvious people aren’t moving there because they can’t find a job in Washington. It’s most likely because they just need a change of scenery and to escape the ever-growing prices of homes. Seattle also has a seaside beach and lakes, so it’s no wonder why people decide to move there!

Denver downtown
The cost of living in Denver is much lower than in Washington, which seems to explain these moving trends in DC area

Denver, CO

Denver is the most populous city in the state of Colorado, with almost 720,000 people living there. When compared to Washington, it has a whopping 60% lower population density! It’s a very spacious city that doesn’t feel crowded and in a constant hurry like Washington. It is also cheaper, with the average rent being $450 lower. Consumer prices in general are lower in Denver by 13%. You simply get more value out of your paycheck there and that’s a very powerful drive behind many of these relocations.

Baltimore, MD

The most populous city of Maryland sits in spot number three. It is very close to Washington, so many people decide to move here because they can still stay in the vicinity of the nation’s capital, without really having to deal with its downsides. In Baltimore, the same salary would offer you 22% higher purchasing power. Rent prices are around 44% cheaper, that is no small difference! Finding reliable moving services Maryland provides isn’t hard, so if you are planning this move, be sure to contact us! 

Portland, OR

Portland, the largest city in the state of Oregon, is quite similar to Washington in many ways. Consumer prices, groceries, and utility costs are roughly the same, as Washington is only 2% more expensive than Portland. However, rent prices in Washington are 36% higher, so that makes a lot of people switch cities. It also has a 56% lower population density and lakes where many people can relax and unwind. It offers everything a big city does, but at a smaller price than Washington. It’s not that near to Washington, as the distance between the cities is 2,353 miles, but still many people decide to embark on this journey in search of a better and different life.

Portland, one of the most frequent outbound moving trends in DC area
Portland is a much less densely populated city than Washington, which many people seem to enjoy

Arlington, VA

The final entry on this list is Arlington. We already mentioned that this is a city out of which most people move to Washington. But it also goes the other way around! Many people decide to stay close to Washington and still work there, but enjoy its benefits in a more quiet setting. It has many great suburbs where it is ideal to raise a family, with plenty of parks and recreational spots where you can spend your days in nature and peace. It also has a lower crime rate than Washington, so it’s also a safer place to live in. Since it is close to Washington, you have many great schools available where you can either enroll your kids, or you can sign up if you plan to go to college. 

The Arlington to Washington relocations and vice versa are among the biggest moving trends in DC area. We’ve covered all you need to know if you are also one of those people, with this type of relocation in mind. If you are and find it more convenient to live in Arlington or some other similar Maryland city, make sure you find the right movers West Virginia provides and start packing!

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