Americans have long seen Texas – particularly its big cities like Dallas – as a place where you can reinvent yourself. So, it’s no surprise that Texas has been seeing high rates of in-country migration, trailing only Florida as the most-popular-state-to-move-to in the latest census data.

Apart from that almost-mythical sense of limitless possibility, why are people moving to Dallas and where are they coming from? It’s fairly easy to figure that out using data tools provided by the Census Flows Mapper from the Department of Census. And we can also see where and why Dallas residents are relocating from Dallas to other places in Texas and across America.

While it’s fun to look at charts and graphs and dream about a new life, the ebb and flow of population movement also provides a fascinating glimpse into the broader socio-economic and cultural shifts across the United States. So, let’s take a deep dive into this data. 

How did we get these numbers?

The Census Flows Mapper leverages the American Community Survey (ACS) data, providing annual estimates of migration flows at the county and metro area level. By analyzing residential movement over a 12-month period, it provides insights into patterns that shape our urban landscapes. 

This information is based on data from the most recently released American Community Survey (ACS). The survey is the primary source for detailed population and housing information about our nation.

Bellhop - "Best Movers Ever'

Who’s moving to Dallas, Texas and why? 

All that data in the Flows Mapper can really make your brain tense up. But poke around a bit and you’ll see it’s pretty easy to figure out. You can see that Texas has seen a net migration increase from 31 states, while experiencing a net migration loss with 18 states. 

Most of the people who moved to Texas came from California –a trend that is so strong it has been dubbed the “Texodus.” In the latest data set, we can see that about 111,000 people made the move from California to Texas in 2021. Most of them are millennials with an above-average annual household income of $114,000. But it goes both ways, some people leaving the Lone Star State headed to the Golden State. 

Top Cross-Country Moves to Dallas:

According to the ACS data, Dallas County was among the top three counties in Texas to see the highest number of newcomers in 2021, with around 45,000 people inbound. Harris County (home to Dallas) had the most arrivals with 69,000 arrivals, followed by Bexar County (San Antonio) with 48,000.

Here’s where most of the new residents of Dallas came from:

Los Angeles: The highest number of folks who moved to Dallas are moved from Los Angeles. The high cost of living in Los Angeles is the most commonly cited reason for folks moving from the City of Angels. Dallas offers a lower cost of living without sacrificing urban amenities or cultural diversity. 

Chicago: It’s not hard to guess why people are moving from Chicago for the south – why live where the wind hurts your face? Besides a warmer climate, people reported that Dallas has economic advantages and a more business-friendly environment.

Phoenix: In contrast to Chicago residents seeking a less-harsh winter, folks moving from Phoenix would like the weather to be a little more temperate. They also cite Phoenix’s rapidly growing population as a reason for leaving the city, as well as Dallas’ more varied job market as prime reasons for moving. 

Top Cross-Country Destinations from Dallas

People who are lucky enough to be born in Texas are the least likely in the nation to move out of their home state, according to new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. But some people do wander off. Here’s where they mostly end up:

Los Angeles: Dallas residents may be lured by Los Angeles’s entertainment industry, cultural amenities, and the sun soaked, easy-living allure of the West Coast. 

Phoenix, Arizona: One person’s too-hot desert is another person’s happy place. Dallas residents moving to Phoenix say they like the warm, dry climate, growing tech sector, and scenic beauty. 

Charlotte, North Carolina: Known as a financial hub, Charlotte‘s banking sector is a strong enticement for Dallas professionals seeking opportunities in finance.

Brooklyn, New York: Specifically, not New York City, but Brooklyn is where folks from Dallas head when they point themselves north. Brooklyn offers cultural vibrancy and a myriad of career opportunities, especially for those in the arts, media, and tech industries.

Chicago: More people are moving from Chicago to Dallas than vice-versa, but some folks are heading to the Windy City. Family ties, cultural offerings, diverse industries, and that unique Midwestern charm are the draws.

The Better Way to Move

Top In Texas Moves

As noted above, people born in Texas tend to stay in Texas, but that doesn’t mean they stay put in one spot. Texans from the cities below are currently the most likely to move to Dallas. 

Houston: While the city offers a robust energy sector and diverse culture, those moving from Houston folks say they make the move to Dallas for its thriving tech industry, cultural hubs, and relatively lower cost of living compared to Houston and some other major cities.

San Antonio: The city’s rich cultural history and slower pace of living is perfect for many, but those seeking broader economic opportunities and a livelier lifestyle are moving from San Antonio to Dallas.

Austin: Despite its booming tech industry and music scene, folks are moving from Austin to Dallas for its larger economy, diversified job market, and corporate opportunities.

What’s great about living in Dallas? 

According to data from the Census Flows Mapper, and our own local team of Dallas movers, here’s why anyone would want to live in Dallas:

Economic Opportunities: Dallas is an economic powerhouse with a significant number of corporate headquarters, making it a hub for job seekers.

Cost of Living: Dallas, though not the cheapest city in the nation, often offers a better cost of living than cities like Los Angeles, especially in terms of housing.

Educational Institutions: Dallas is home to various reputed institutions and universities, attracting students and academics.

Cultural Scene: Dallas offers a mix of Texan culture with a modern urban vibe, drawing in individuals who seek both tradition and modern vibes. 

Diversity: Dallas has a mix of cultures, which is reflected in its neighborhoods, food, festivals, and more.

Foodie Heaven: From authentic Tex-Mex and BBQ joints to a plethora of international cuisines, Dallas is a haven for food lovers.

Sports: Dallas is home to the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Dallas Mavericks (NBA), Texas Rangers (MLB), and Dallas Stars (NHL), among other teams. The passion for sports is intense in the city.

Arts and Culture: The Dallas Arts District is one of the largest urban arts districts in the U.S. You’ll find the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Crow Collection of Asian Art all in close proximity.

And the awesome State Fair: Held annually at Fair Park, it’s one of the largest and oldest state fairs in the U.S., complete with rides, games, livestock shows, and the iconic Big Tex statue.

Making the move to/from Dallas, Texas

Moving to Dallas? Bellhop can help you get there. We know moving is no one’s idea of a good time, and we’ve dedicated ourselves to figuring out how to make the experience as stress-free as humanly possible. Whether it’s a long-distance move to Dallas or local, we can help.

We have long distance service options for moves of any size and budget. Options range from labor only service to our unique direct truck moves. We can help you with packing, storage, car shipping, junk removal and many other needs. And our flat rate pricing option ensures that you are not surprised by hidden fees on move day. Plus, our terrific customer support team is with you every step of the way. Tell us what you need, and we’ll do our best to find a way to make it happen. 

Other Dallas Guides

Harmon Suhorsky
Latest posts by Harmon Suhorsky (see all)