Living next to Fort Huachuca, we're used to seeing a lot of out-of-state license plates throughout the year. It's not uncommon to see vehicles from all over the nation, but a short time back, I began to notice a trend.

The Influx

From the time of the pandemic shut down, until now, there seemed to be an influx of plates from a few states in particular. At first, I thought it was my imagination, but it turns out, the data confirms what suspected.
So where are these people coming from? And why are they choosing Arizona over other places?

Going to Arizona

First, why are people choosing to move to Arizona? According to the 2022 National Van Lines Mover Study, the top reason people are moving to Arizona is to retire. In fact, 34.46% of folks moving to our state cite retirement as the top reason they're coming here.
The Census Bureau has reported the these are the top 5 states transplanting their lives to Arizona:

#5 - Illinois

In 2019, 10,915 people pulled up stakes in the Land of Lincoln and headed west, landing in Arizona. By contrast, we sent just over 5,000 to go live in Illinois.

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#4 - Colorado

I'm not sure if people locked down during the pandemic looked around and decided Colorado weather wasn't for them, or if there were other factors, but 14,684 decided it was time to beat feet and head to Arizona in 2019.

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#3 -Texas

If all your exes lived in Texas...well, make sure they haven't relocated. In 2019, 17,482  people saddled up and decided Texas was no longer for them, and they moved to Arizona. Arizona was the 8th most popular destination for people fleeing Texas.

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#2 - Washington State

At first, I thought I was imagining it, or that just because I had family in Washington, I was noticing the license plates more often.

From 2019 to now, there has been in intense migration from the State of Washington, with 17,636 people finding their way here since 2019.

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#1 - California

This number may be the most alarming. If you've ever visited California, you've probably noticed that EVERYTHING is more expensive there.

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The cost of gasoline, property, and goods and services in California is astronomically higher than most of the nation. Add in taxes and other hidden costs, and it's easy to see why people are leaving the state in droves.

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Apparently, the citizens took note. In 2019, 59,713 people transplanted to Arizona from California.

And it doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Every day, more people have migrated to Arizona.

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