6 Cities People are leaving to Move to Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix, AZ, has been the fastest growing city in America for five years straight. It’s beautiful, spacious, and full of opportunity; there is no surprise in its popularity. But where are people moving to Phoenix from? Whether they are escaping exorbitant rent, hellacious snow, or just want to live in an exciting place with plenty to do, people from all over the United States are heading to the Valley of the Sun. Though they come from near and far, most of them are leaving these six cities to move to Phoenix, AZ.

Top Cities People are Moving from to live in Phoenix

1. Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim:

The city that is losing the most residents each year to Phoenix will likely not surprise you, it’s the fellow sunshine city of Los Angeles. An average of 300 people a day relocated from Los Angeles to the Phoenix Metro Area…That’s a lot of Californians trading their beaches for the desert!

The primary reason we are seeing this influx of warm weather west coasters is plain and simple – price. The Los Angeles Metro Area (all of Southern California, really) has become so exorbitant that not only do many people feel it is not worth the price, but they truly just can’t afford to stay. Most Angelinos find themselves not actually going to the beach very often, or enjoying much of the other scenery in SoCal, so why pay for it if you are barely even utilizing it?

view of Los Angeles neighborhood, Cities people are leaving to move to Phoenix Arizona (1)

Looking to move to the Phoenix area & need some help?

Schedule a zoom call with us today so we can help you get started & clarify what you need to do before moving here.

2. Tucson:

Believe it or not, Phoenix gets many of its new residents from in-state. Just down the road, in Tucson, Arizona, people are packing up the U-Hauls and heading to the big city. It isn’t that Tucson isn’t a great town. Located near Saguaro National Park, Tucson is beautiful when it comes to scenery, and offers residents plenty of wide-open spaces.

But if you want things to do (other than hike among the cacti) you might quickly exhaust your options. There just isn’t enough going on in Tucson, and it is so spread out that even just heading across town is a lengthy drive.

aerial view of Tucson, Cities people are leaving to move to Phoenix Arizona (2)

3. Chicago:

The Windy City is full of great food, job opportunities, big city energy, and plenty of deep-dish pizza…yet still we see that many Chicago residents are heading west. Though there is so much opportunity in Chicago, it is getting a bit crowded and expensive. Add on the fact that it’s bitterly cold for much of the year, and you won’t get very much for your dollar, and some feel that it just isn’t worth living in the city anymore.

The demographic that is leaving the Chicago area also tends to be not so much native Chicago residents, but those who relocated to the city for work or pleasure. If your family isn’t there, and you have had enough of the Chicago winters, there isn’t much left to keep you in a cold, cramped, expensive town with a constantly rising crime rate.

Homes in Chicago, Cities people are leaving to move to Phoenix Arizona (3)

4. The Northern Midwest:

Chicago is certainly part of this group, but this deserves a category of its own, so for the sake of this list, we are considering this area northern Illinois and Indiana, and southern Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Basically, if it gets a LOT of snow, it’s part of this group. Midwesterners are moving to the Phoenix metro at an increasing speed, and it’s more than just the snowbirds.

Yes, there is still a large demographic of people from snowy areas who live in Phoenix only during the winter months to escape the snow and ice, but many of them are actually staying year-round now. For whatever reason, Phoenix has seen an increase in recent years in residents relocating from the northern midwestern states to the desert and making the move at least somewhat permanent.

Likely the reason is the influx of millennials into Phoenix, which is the city’s largest age demographic of newcomers. The aging millennial population is now becoming parents themselves, and their parents are following them out west to be close to them and their growing families.

Midwest home with snow, Cities people are leaving to move to Phoenix Arizona (4)

5. Seattle/Washington State:

The West Coast may be the best coast (hey, it’s a matter of opinion!) but it’s apparently not that great because people just don’t seem to stay anymore. Residents of Seattle and Washington are one of the largest demographics of Phoenix newcomers. The Rainy City has been a hub of west coast living for decades, but like the rest of the Pacific Coast, it is becoming unattainably expensive. Tiny studio apartments in Seattle are nearly as expensive as they are in Los Angeles, but it’s raining all the time, so unlike L.A., you can’t go outside, you just have to sit in that expensive little space!

Despite the expense, Seattle continues to grow, and that means the city is feeling more and more cramped. Many think it just isn’t worth it anymore, and they’re packing up and heading to a place where they can have more space (and drier space at that.)

aerial view of a neighborhood in Seattle, Cities people are leaving to move to Phoenix Arizona (5)

6. San Diego/Riverside:

Well, we have mentioned nearly every big city metro area on the west coast other than the San Francisco Bay Area, so it seems only fitting we finish off the west coast transplant list with the San Diego area. This southernmost California metropolitan area is beautiful and laid back, with its stunning cliff sides hovering over the ocean, ancient coastal pines sprawling along the coast, and tan skinned, blonde haired surf bums cruising along its coastline scoping out the perfect set.

But make no mistake, though San Diego’s chill atmosphere differs from the glitz and glam of Los Angeles, they have a common commodity; they’re both expensive as heck. Yes, even in San Diego you are paying The Sunshine Tax. It’s a beautiful place to live, but it seems plenty are packing up and heading back east (just a few hundred miles east, that is!)

San Diego homes, Cities people are leaving to move to Phoenix Arizona (6)

Are you ready to move to Phoenix?

Are you living in one of these cities, or anywhere else in the country, and thinking of making the move to Phoenix, Arizona? If so, reach out to me, I would love to help you find your dream home here in the Valley of the Sun.

Subscribe to stay up to date about Living in Phoenix

R. M.
R. M.
23:04 31 May 22
I contacted Greg after finding one of his videos on the overall market.He took tremendous care to feel out what would be suitable for me and match my needs to the right house in the right neighborhood. I cannot begin to thank him enough for all the effort he put into finding me a place.He is knowledgeable, courteous and all around a good man.I give him my highest possible recommendation with no reservations whatsoever.
Scott Koren
Scott Koren
02:10 29 Apr 22
I recently moved to Phoenix from out of state and found Greg through his series of online videos for AZ Live Style Group. Buying a house when coming from another state is challenging, but I can say I found the ideal partner and agent in Greg. In a very challenging market, Greg's deep knowledge of the Phoenix area market, his patience, and especially his dedication to helping me find the right home was exactly what I needed. Greg took the time to help me learn the market, explore neighborhoods, and find the right home! I'm excited to start my next chapter here in Phoenix and I cannot recommend Greg highly enough for anyone who needs a great partner in finding their perfect home.
James Foster
James Foster
00:54 26 Mar 22
Greg really listened to what we wanted and made the whole process super easy. He didn’t try to sell us on a property that we weren’t interesting in but was also able to show us a few places that we might not have found on our own. Will definitely continue to use Greg in the future.
terry parde
terry parde
22:14 25 Mar 22
Greg is awesome! Found him on his Youtube channel about 1.5 years ago when I was planning to move to AZ. I worked with Greg over the phone and finally in person a year ago. He found me the perfect home in Chandler. He guided me through the whole offer process with an anticipated bidding war. His strategy worked. I won the offer in 24 hrs and closed in 30 days. Everything went perfectly and love the home after 1 year. Greg's in-depth knowledge of the area, the market conditions and the strategy to close the deal was perfect spot on. I felt almost no stress and he managed all the details thru the closing. Professionalism on display!
Kathy Laurinaitis
Kathy Laurinaitis
19:51 25 Mar 22
We have worked with Greg on selling 2 homes and buying 2 homes. Greg is a professional through and through. He was always available to jump on a call to discuss whatever was going on. His experience and guidance helped us make great decisions during the process of buying and selling our homes.
Elizabeth Lewis
Elizabeth Lewis
19:46 25 Mar 22
We were completely new to the area and Greg was incredibly patient and knowledgeable. He listened to our needs and helped us navigate through the whole process. He kind and funny as well. He is an absolute pleasure to do business with.
See All Reviews