News & Media

Number of People Moving to Charlotte Region Climbs to Highest Level in More Than a Decade

From the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance

How Many People are Moving to the Charlotte Region Every Day?

Seemingly, everyone has a different answer to this question. This is primarily for two reasons: it changes every year, and sometimes the change is significant. Also, people use different geographies which results in different numbers. As a regional group, the CLT Alliance reports on our 14-county region which includes 10 counties in North Carolina and 4 in South Carolina.


From mid-2021 to mid-2022, about 113 people moved to the Charlotte Region every day1. As we noted in a previous blog, in-migration boomed in 2021-2022 over the previous year (+35%) and was the highest we have seen since at least 2010.

Note: The CLT Alliance no longer includes Union County in its geography so numbers may differ from what was previously reported. Source: CLT Alliance analysis of US Census Bureau population estimates, July 2011 – July 2022 (2020-2022 are vintage 2022 estimates).

113 daily movers is higher than some peer metros like Nashville (82 daily movers) and Raleigh (70 daily movers), but lower than others like Austin (130 daily movers) and Tampa (185 daily movers). Dallas and Houston, much larger metros than Charlotte, had the most net migration in 2021-2022 seeing 351 and 233 daily movers respectively during the same period.

The graph below also puts the daily movers statistic into the context of the overall population size. 130 daily movers into Austin, which has a population of 2.4 million, may feel more impactful for existing residents than the 113 moving into the Charlotte Region which has a population of 2.9 million.

Source: CLT Alliance analysis of US Census Bureau population estimates, July 2021 – July 2022.

Where are they Moving From?

Primarily, people are moving from large metros in the Northeast and South, along with smaller North Carolina metros like Asheville and Winston-Salem. Many people are coming to the Charlotte Region from more expensive areas, suggesting that the region’s lower cost of living is a factor for some movers. Three of the four metros with the most net in-migration into the Charlotte metro have a much higher cost of living than the national average (Miami, New York, and Washington DC).

Metro Areas with +500 Annual Net Migration into the Charlotte Metro Area

Source: CLT Alliance analysis of US Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2016-2020 5-Year Estimates. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC metro used as geography.

And while the most recent data on migration between metro areas is an annual average between 2016-2020, state migration data is more up-to-date and gives us a sense of how migration patterns may have changed since 2020. The 2021 state migration data shows an expansion of net migration into the Carolinas from New York, Florida, and California.

Source: CLT Alliance analysis of US Census Bureau State-to-State Migration Flows, 2016-2021. 2020 data not available.

This jump in net migration from California, Florida and New York is as much or more about fewer people moving from the Carolinas as it is about more residents relocating here. It is not surprising that many of the characteristics of the region that are attracting new residents would make it stickier for existing residents as well. That is especially true as people have more control over where they live as the tether between employment and place weakens.

This state-level data suggests that the Charlotte Region likely saw even higher rates of net migration from high-cost metros like New York, Miami, Los Angelos, and San Diego in 2021 than was seen in the years leading up to the pandemic. I expect that the strong net migration seen in 2021-2022 to continue in the Charlotte Region as more people decide to stay in the region as well as move here. In the short-term, higher interest rates which are the most significant factor in decreasing housing affordability over the past 18 months, make high-cost metros even less affordable and second-tier metros like Charlotte more attractive. In the mid- to long-term, as some experts expect technology advancements to allow for more remote work and greater flexibility on where to live, metros like Charlotte which offer affordability and a high-quality of life should expect to see continued flows of in-migration.

Why This is Important

The number of people who move to the Charlotte Region is an important statistic because it is hard to process large numbers. 113 people (or about twice the size of the Carolina Panthers roster during the regular season) moving to the region every day is easier to wrap your mind around than 41,163 people moving to the region every year. Having statistics that are digestible is important for the Select CLT team as they pitch the region to businesses around the world considering relocating or expanding.

In addition, impactful statistics can help those in our community understand the pace of our growth and the importance of investing in infrastructure to support it. Given the influx of people moving to the region, a trend I expect to continue and potentially accelerate, investing in infrastructure like transportation, education, and housing is as important as ever. And because our region largely depends on net migration for population growth (87% of population growth in 2021-2022 was from net migration), data on migration may be the most important information for understanding how the region is changing and growing.


1 113 daily movers is a net number. It is calculated by estimating the number of people moving into the Charlotte Region – the number of people moving out of the Charlotte Region.