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Where Rich Generation Xers Are Moving – 2021 Edition


In a 2021 report, the National Association of Realtors says that Gen Xers make up 24% of  homebuyers from the past year, the highest of any generation in that time frame. The report also ranks the age group as the highest-earning generation out of all other homebuyers, with a median income of $113,300 in 2019. Having a higher income allows for the potential to invest more money and be better prepared for retirement. Some states have attracted more high-earning Gen Xers in recent years and a new study by SmartAsset analyzed data to identify the top states to which Gen Xers who make at least $100,000 per year are moving.

For this study, we considered inflows and outflows of Gen Xers making at least $100,000 for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.

This is SmartAsset’s 2021 edition of our study on where rich Gen Xers are moving. Check out the 2020 version here.

Key Findings

  • Southern and Western states dominate the top. The top 10 states in the study represent the South and West (according to Census regional divisions) equally. Some of these states – notably Florida and Texas, which rank No. 1 and 2, respectively – have no state income tax. This could be a factor that attracts Gen Xers with high incomes.
  • States that are home to the largest U.S. cities are seeing outflows. Comparatively, states at the bottom of the study have more residents moving out than moving in. These include California, New York and Illinois (ranking No. 51, 50 and 49, respectively), where major cities like Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago have an outflow of people leaving for other places.

1. Florida

Florida gained a net of 9,529 Gen Xers earning at least $100,000 per year between 2018-2019. The biggest inflow came from people aged between 45 and 54 years old, earning between $100,000 and $200,000 per year – 7,772 people fitting this demographic moved into Florida over that time period.

2. Texas

Texas gained a total of 7,133 rich Gen Xers from 2018-2019. The raw total of Gen Xers making at least $100,000 moving into the state was 24,340, while 17,207 left.

3. North Carolina

More than 8,000 rich Gen Xers left North Carolina from 2018-2019, but 11,189 moved into North Carolina that same year. The state has a net migration of 3,121 Gen Xers for that time period.

4. Arizona

Arizona attracted 8,482 new rich Gen Xers, while 5,556 moved out over the time period we looked at. The state had a net gain of 2,926 Gen Xers earning at least $100,000 per year from 2018-2019.

5. South Carolina

South Carolina had a net gain of 2,301 rich Gen Xers from 2018-2019. The biggest influxes were of Gen Xers earning at least $100,000 but less than $200,000 per year.

6. Tennessee

From 2018-2019, the Volunteer State gained 6,854 Gen Xers earning at least $100,000 per year, while 4,671 of them left the state. This leaves Tennessee with a net gain of 2,183 for that time period.

7. Idaho

One of the five states in our top 10 that is located in the West, Idaho comes in at No. 7. There was a net migration of 1,573 rich Gen Xers from 2018-2019. The state saw an inflow of 2,743 and an outflow of 1,170.

8. Colorado

Colorado attracted 8,810 rich Gen Xers in 2018-2019, while 7,458 left. That leaves the state with a net gain of 1,352.

9. Washington

Washington State’s biggest increase of rich Gen Xers from 2018-2019 came from people earning between $100,000 and $200,000. The net total increase of residents from this age group and income bracket was 1,287.

10. Nevada

Nevada claims the No. 10 spot in our study, with a 2018-2019 net migration of 1,196 Gen Xers earning at least $100,000. The state had an inflow of 4,278 people in this demographic and an outflow of 3,082.

Data and Methodology

To determine where rich Generation Xers are moving, we looked at data from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. We defined rich Generation Xers as individuals ages 35 to 54 who have adjusted gross incomes of $100,000 and above. More specifically, we looked at the following two metrics:

  • Inflow of rich Generation Xers. This is the number of individuals between the ages of 35 and 54 with adjusted gross incomes of at least $100,000 who moved into the state. Data comes from the IRS and is for 2018-2019.
  • Outflow of rich Generation Xers. This is the number of individuals between the ages of 35 and 54 with adjusted gross incomes of at least $100,000 who moved out of the state. Data comes from the IRS and is for 2018-2019.

We then subtracted the outflow from the inflow of rich Generation Xers to determine each state’s net inflow. We ranked the states from highest net inflow of Generation Xers to lowest net inflow.

Investing Tips for Gen Xers

  • Be a Gen Xer who puts trust in the experts. If you’re a Gen Xer and you don’t have a financial advisor yet, the time may be now. SmartAsset’s free tool connects you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors, get started now.
  • It’s never too early to think about retirement funds. Retirement isn’t too far away for many Gen Xers. Even if you’re on the younger side, though, it isn’t too soon to think about retirement. Make sure you’re planning and using a workplace retirement plan like a 401(k) if you have access to one.

Questions about our study? Contact

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