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Image shows a couple standing arm in arm with their backs facing the camera as they admire their new home. SmartAsset analyzed IRS migration data to find the states to which rich Generation Xers are moving.

A decision to move can arise from various factors, such as landing a new job, wanting to start or grow a family and desiring a favorable housing market. And as a result of their particular needs, different age or income groups might also be attracted to specific locales. With that in mind, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to uncover where rich Gen Xers are moving.

We used IRS data to analyze the total inflows and outflows of people between ages 35 and 54 who reported earnings of at least $100,000 on their 2017-2018 tax filings. 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 2020 edition of our study on where rich Generation Xers are moving. Check out the 2019 version here.

Key Findings

  • Rich Gen Xers are flying South. Five states in our top 10 are in the South: Florida, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. In these top-ranking Southern states, tax filers between the ages of 35-54 making at least $200,000 comprise at least one-fourth of the net migration of rich Gen Xers.
  • Northeastern states are not ideal. There are no Northeastern states in the top 10 of the study. And of the bottom 10 states in the study – the states from which more rich Gen Xers moved out than moved in – four are in the Northeast, according to Census regional divisions. They are New York (with a net outflow of 9,549), Massachusetts (with a net outflow of 1,351), New Jersey (with a net outflow of 1,096) and Connecticut (with a net outflow of 729).

1. Florida

Though Gen Xers haven’t quite made it to retirement age yet, it seems a lot of them are getting a head start on their way to the retirement-friendly Sunshine State. The net migration of rich Gen Xers to Florida from 2017 to 2018 was 9,283. That includes a total inflow of 22,321, more than 7,000 of whom earned at least $200,000.

2. Texas

The net migration of rich Gen Xers to Texas in 2017-2018 was 5,717. The total inflow of tax filers ages 35 to 54 making at least $100,000 was 23,092, which is actually the highest total inflow in our study. The total outflow of this demographic from Texas during this time period was 17,375.

3. North Carolina

North Carolina had a net increase of 3,385 rich Gen Xers in 2017-2018. The biggest subgroup of people moving into the state was those between 35 and 44 making between $100,000 and $200,000 per year. More than 7,600 tax filers in this group moved to North Carolina during that time.

4. Arizona

Arizona saw a net migration of 2,646 wealthy Gen Xers during 2017-2018. The total inflow of rich Gen Xers was 8,140, while 5,494 rich Gen Xers moved out of Arizona during this time.

5. South Carolina

The Palmetto State’s net migration of rich Gen Xers was 2,329 people during 2017-2018. That includes more than 1,500 people of this generation who were making at least $200,000 during that time frame.

6. Tennessee

Tennessee’s population of rich Gen Xers increased by a net of 2,206 during 2017-2018. There were 6,718 new residents in this cohort, while 4,512 rich Gen Xers moved out of the state. Of this total inflow, there were 868 Gen Xers ages 35-44 making at least $200,000 and 1,110 Gen Xers ages 45-54 in that income bracket. Furthermore, there were 2,512 Gen Xers ages 35-44 making between $100,000 and $200,000 and 2,228 Gen Xers ages 45-54 in that income bracket.

7. Colorado

The net migration of rich Gen Xers to Colorado was 2,067 between 2017 and 2018, with the inflow of this group consisting mostly of new residents ages 35-44. Of the 5,291 tax filers in this age range that moved to the state, the majority – 3,652 – were making more than $100,000 but less than $200,000.

8. Nevada

The net migration of rich Gen Xers to Nevada from 2017-2018 was 1,508. The biggest subgroup of people to move to Nevada were Gen Xers between the ages of 35 and 44 earning between $100,000 and $200,000 – 1,551 tax filers. Furthermore, a total of 1,288 Gen Xers making $200k+ moved into the state during this time.

9. Idaho

Between 2017 and 2018, there was a net increase of 1,428 Gen Xers earning at least $100,000 in the state of Idaho. Idaho’s total inflow of these rich Gen Xers was 2,541, and outflow totaled 1,113.

10. Washington

The net increase of rich Gen Xers into Washington State in 2017-2018 was 1,140. Total inflow was 9,436 during that time, while outflow was 8,296.

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 2017-2018.
  • 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 2017-2018.

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.

Making the Most of Your Money

  • Make sure your finances age well. A financial advisor is a good thing to look into regardless of which generation you belong to. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. 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.
  • Moving? You have options. If you’re thinking of moving to a new state, do the math to figure out whether you should rent or buy before you move.
  • Moving doesn’t have to be taxing. A new state will also mean new tax burdens. Use SmartAsset’s free income tax calculator to get a sense of what you might owe.

Questions about our study? Contact

Photo credit: ©

Ben Geier, CEPF® Ben Geier is an experienced financial writer currently serving as a retirement and investing expert at SmartAsset. His work has appeared on Fortune, and CNNMoney. Ben is a graduate of Northwestern University and a part-time student at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing and a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®). When he isn’t helping people understand their finances, Ben likes watching hockey, listening to music and experimenting in the kitchen. Originally from Alexandria, VA, he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife.
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