That is, when people move out of Atlanta, where are they moving to?

This is a companion article for our article on “Where Are People Moving to Atlanta From?

In these articles, we use the Census Flow Mapper in order to show which counties have the highest number of people moving into (or out of) Atlanta, using the most recent and reliable data available.

While the population of Atlanta has been increasing in recent years (and so the population has increased), there are always people moving out.

The Top 6 Places People Move to From Atlanta

Los Angeles, California

Curiously enough, Los Angeles also made the #1 spot on our article on inbound migration. The same city that has the highest number of people moving to Atlanta is also the same city that is attracting the highest number of Atlanta residents.

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Part of the reason might be that, since the Census Flow Mapper tracks data over years, college students and intermittent travelers (who are only staying at Atlanta for a short period of time) might be moving back to Los Angeles after spending a few years in Atlanta. If you’re looking to move back to Atlanta, we’ve got you covered with our Atlanta long-distance moving services.

Other top reasons that people move to Los Angeles include:

  • The weather. Los Angeles has some of the best weather around. It regularly ranks as one of the top US cities for year-round weather with average temperatures ranging from 69-77 degrees Fahrenheit and 292 total days of sunshine.
  • The beach. Although Los Angeles is very expensive, for some affluent professionals, the cost is worth it to be close to the beach.
  • The Film Industry – both Atlanta and Los Angeles have substantial TV and film industries, which likely contribute to a lot of cross-pollination between the two cities.

Houston, Texas

Houston, with a population of 2.2 million, is the largest metro area in Texas and the fourth largest city in the United States. It’s home to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Zoo, and Space Center Houston, the official visitor center of NASA Johnson Space Center.

Houston has similar weather to Atlanta, good job opportunities, and zero income tax. This makes it a very attractive option for people moving out of Atlanta. Harris County (Houston) is the second county outside of Georgia with the highest number of former Atlantians moving to it, earning it the #2 spot on this list.

Top reasons people move to Houston:

The Better Way to Move
  • Job opportunities. Houston’s GDP grew 3.4% in 2022, which ranks in the top 20 of the 50 largest metro areas in the United States. Energy, healthcare, and biomedical research are among the top three industries.
  • No income tax. The entire state of Texas has no income tax, which is a draw for some people looking for greater take-home pay.

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix is one of the hottest cities in America – both literally and metaphorically. Phoenix regularly sees temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, as of the time of this writing (late August 2023), Phoenix is currently at 110 degrees Fahrenheit, with a humidity level of only 19%. Not only is it America’s hottest city, though, it’s also America’s fastest growing city, so the heat isn’t scaring anyone.

Similarly to Houston, though, Phoenix has a great jobs market. When the population in an area grows, the demand curve for everything gets pushed up and to the right: Phoenix’s economy is growing at roughly twice the rate of the national average.

  • One of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Maricopa County leads the nation in population growth in 2023, with almost an 11% increase in population.
  • Attractive job market. Phoenix’s main industries include manufacturing, mining, healthcare, and construction. Atlanta’s biggest industries include finance, healthcare, and manufacturing – so there’s definitely some overlap there, particularly in healthcare and manufacturing.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte is North Carolina’s largest city, known for the Charlotte Hornets NBA team, Carolina Panthers, and more. Those moving to Charlotte may find Freedom Park and Uptown Romare Bearden Park neighborhoods a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Charlotte is also known as a major banking center, with Ally Financial establishing its headquarters there. People moving to Charlotte from Atlanta might be doing so in order to explore other opportunities (or promotions) in finance.

  • Major, growing metro with relatively affordable houses.
  • Charlotte currently has 91,000 financial services jobs, among the most out of any major metro in the United States. It is a major hub for finance. 

Brooklyn, New York

Plenty of people are moving to Brooklyn from Atlanta. It has a stronghold in American pop culture. It has a more residential feel than many major cities. And, with the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Museum, you can feel connected to history, beauty, and advancement.

While Brooklyn has its fair share of issues, it still has a bustling economy and tons of nice restaurants and hole-in-the-wall bars.

For the bottom two cities on the list, snowfall might be a primary reason for why they want to move somewhere further north. Some people love the change of the seasons, preferring to sip on their hot cocoa as they watch the snow fall than burn in the winter sun of, say, Phoenix (or settle for a very mild but still cold winter in Atlanta).

  • Well-known and well-loved: Brooklyn Nets, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Brooklyn Bridge – when people say “Brooklyn,” they know where you’re talking about. Brooklyn still sits center-stage as an ideal city for many Americans, and people moving out of Atlanta are no exception.
  • Growing economy: Since 2009, the number of businesses in Brooklyn has increased by 32%. The economy is alive and well and it’s attracting many newcomers.

Chicago, Illinois

Finally, some people from Atlanta are moving to Chicago. From Millennium Park to deep-dish pizza, Chicago has a lot to offer. Furthermore, Chicago’s economy is also continuing to grow. Illinois is the second state in the nation when it comes to corporate investment, and it’s still one of the leading places in the Midwest for college grads when they’re looking for a job.

Chicago is known around the world for its cleanliness, culture, and beautiful architecture. It’s a go-to destination for many looking to make the move out of Atlanta.

  • Deep-dish pizza, Millennium Park, the Chicago Bulls, and more. Chicago has plenty to offer new residents.
  • Chicago’s $720 billion economy is bigger than entire countries’. 

Where are People Moving to From Atlanta?

People are moving to Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix, Charlotte, Brooklyn, and Chicago – some of the biggest metro areas in the world. If you need help packing your things, we’ve got you covered. Our expert cross-country moving services can set you up with a plan that fits your budget and timeline.

Tyler Brown