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Where Gen X Is Moving – 2023 Study

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As Gen X prepares to send kids to college and inches closer to retirement, this age group has had time to see compound interest grow their investments while advancing their careers. This means an individual Gen Xer may have an outsized impact on local economies than their younger cohorts, despite generally being less mobile.

Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset examined data from the U.S. Census Bureau for 268 of the largest U.S. cities to identify and rank where Gen Xers (aged 45 to 54) are moving to.

Key Findings

  • Bend, Oregon joins the ranks of traditional retiree destinations in the Top 5. The top 5 included Surprise, AZ; Bend, OR; Scottsdale, AZ; Orlando, FL; and Fort Lauderdale, FL, respectively. Most of Bend’s Gen X additions come from within the same county, and nearly all of them are from within the state.
  • These two Texas cities have the highest rates of Gen Xers. Despite placing 79th and 39th respectively for new Gen Xers moving in, Allen and Frisco have the largest population of this age group relative to the total population. In Allen, 18.3% of the population is between ages 45 and 54, and 17.8% of residents in Frisco are in this age group.
  • St. George, Utah sees the biggest influx of out-of-state Gen Xers. Ranking sixth overall for the rate at which Gen X moved in, St. George’s influx was heavily represented by out-of-state transplants. Of the 2,500 newly moved in Gen Xers, roughly 1,700 came from outside of Utah.
  • Hialeah, FL adds the biggest share of foreign Gen Xers. Ranking 10th overall, Hialeah saw the largest relative increase in Gen Xers moving in from abroad. However, most of the 35,000 newly added Gen Xers came from within Miami-Dade County.

Top 10 Cities Where Gen X Is Moving

1. Surprise, AZ
Surprise saw a significant influx of 4,414 new Gen X residents in 2022. The total population for this age group rose to 18,239, which makes up 11.93% of the 152,910 residents in Surprise.

2. Bend, Oregon
Bend is a popular destination for Gen X, attracting 2,858 newcomers. This increase raised the total number of residents for the age group to 14,965, which makes up 14.60% of the 102,467 residents in Bend.

3. Scottsdale, Arizona 
Scottsdale gained 6,215 Gen Xers in 2022, increasing the total population for the age group to 32,881. Gen X makes up 13.68% of Scottsdale's 240,432 residents.

4. Orlando, Florida
Orlando was the preferred choice for 7,923 new Gen X residents. As a result, the population for this age group grew to 40,219, making up 12.82% of the city's 313,625 residents.

5. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Lauderdale welcomed 4,507 new Gen X residents in 2022 The age group grew to 25,752, which makes up 14.20% of the city's 181,390 population.

6. St. George, Utah
St. George, attracted 2,499 Gen Xers in 2022. This age group has a total population of 10,282, which makes up 10.19% of the city's 100,904 residents.

7. Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson experienced an influx of 3,551 Gen Xers, raising the total of residents in this age group to 16,829. This makes up 11.67% of Jackson's population, which is 144,244.

8. Wichita Falls, Texas, 
Wichita Falls welcomed 2,187 new Gen X residents in 2022, elevating the total count for this age group to 10,775 – or 10.56% of the city's 102,033 population.

9. Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford was the preferred destination for  2,527  new Gen X residents in 2022. This increased the population for this age group to 14,442, which now makes up 12.11% of the city’s 119,290 residents.

10. Hialeah, Florida
Hialeah gained 4,569 Gen Xers in 2022. This growth raised the total count for the age group to 34,877, which makes up 15.96% of Hialeah's 218,525 residents.

Data and Methodology

Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau 1-Year American Community Survey for 2022. The study included 268 cities that had available data and 100,000 or more people aged 1 or over. Gen X was defined as those aged 45 to 54. Cities were ranked by the percentage of the total population represented by Gen Xers who moved into the city in 2022.

Tips for Moving

  • Consider cost of living and taxes. Federal, state and local taxes will all affect your paycheck. You can check your net pay in different locations with SmartAsset’s paycheck calculator.
  • Account for upfront moving costs. Leave extra room in the budget for new furniture and moving expenses. You may have more negotiating power when securing housing if you look during off-peak rental or sales seasons.
  • Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Questions about our study? Contact us at press@smartasset.com

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/svetikd

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