People Are Fleeing Ohio. Here’s Where They’re Plotting to Move to.

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team





Ohio is experiencing a concerning decline in population, as evidenced by the latest census data showing a net loss of 18,000 residents in 2023, marking the largest decrease nationwide. This ongoing trend spans decades, driven by Ohioans seeking improved opportunities and living standards elsewhere. But where exactly are they migrating to, and what motivates their departure?

Preferred Destinations for Ohioans

Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, and Georgia emerge as the top choices for Ohio residents seeking relocation. These states boast warmer climates, favorable tax environments, increased employment prospects, and more affordable housing options compared to Ohio. Additionally, their diverse and vibrant cultures appeal to individuals from varied backgrounds and interests.

Florida stands out as the primary destination for Ohioans, with over 50,000 individuals relocating there in 2023. Known for its scenic beaches, renowned theme parks, retirement communities, and diverse population, Florida’s absence of state income tax is particularly enticing to Ohioans burdened by high taxation in their home state.

Following closely, Texas ranks as the second most popular state for Ohio migrants, attracting over 40,000 individuals in 2023. Renowned for its robust oil and gas industry, distinctive cuisine, and thriving economy, Texas’ lack of state income tax and relatively low cost of living further enhance its appeal.

North Carolina emerges as the third favored destination for Ohioans, with over 30,000 relocating there in 2023. Recognized for its picturesque landscapes encompassing mountains, beaches, and forests, alongside prominent research and technology centers like the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina’s moderate climate and diverse cultural offerings draw residents seeking a balanced lifestyle.

Arizona captures the fourth spot among Ohioans’ preferred destinations, with over 20,000 individuals migrating there in 2023. Celebrated for its breathtaking natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon and Sedona, Arizona’s warm, arid climate provides respite for those weary of Ohio’s cold winters.

Georgia rounds up the top five states attracting Ohioans, with over 15,000 relocating there in 2023. Revered for its southern hospitality, distinctive cuisine, and vibrant cities like Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia’s expanding economy, particularly in sectors like film, music, and technology, offers promising opportunities for newcomers.

Reasons for Departure from Ohio

Ohio residents cite various reasons for leaving their home state, including:

Economic stagnation: Ohio struggles to match national economic growth, lagging behind in job creation, income growth, and innovation. With an unemployment rate of 5.6% in 2023, higher than the national average, and a median household income below the national average, Ohioans seek greener pastures elsewhere.

High taxes: Ohio bears one of the highest tax burdens nationwide, ranking 7th in state and local taxes as a percentage of income in 2023. The state’s income tax rates, coupled with substantial sales taxes, contribute to residents’ financial strain.

Poor quality of life: Ohio ranks unfavorably in health, education, environment, and overall happiness metrics. High rates of obesity, limited educational attainment, environmental concerns, and low levels of life satisfaction drive residents to seek better living standards elsewhere.


Ohio grapples with a population crisis as its residents increasingly seek better opportunities and lifestyles outside the state. Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, and Georgia emerge as popular destinations offering favorable climates, economic advantages, and cultural diversity. To stem the outflow of residents and resources, Ohio must address its economic, fiscal, and social challenges promptly.

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