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Gen Z is choosing Texas as their new home over any other state

Plentiful with job opportunities and relative affordability, Texas is the top state where Gen Zers have moved to. Zillow's principal population scientist breaks down the data.

The Lone Star State has become anything but lonely in the post-COVID era – but there’s one generation in particular that’s set their sights on Texas living.

A recent analysis from housing platform Zillow using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2022 American Community Survey (ACS) found that Texas "far and away" gained the most Gen Z movers year-over-year.

"Texas offers job opportunities and relative affordability. Many parts of Texas have been successful [in] building a lot of new housing to better accommodate its new residents," Zillow’s principal population scientist Edward Berchick told FOX News Digital.

Texas had a net gain of more than 76,000 new Gen Z residents, followed by California with nearly 44,000, then Florida with just over 41,000 Gen Zers.

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When looking across all ages and generations, Census data also confirmed Texas experienced the largest numeric change in the nation during this year, adding 473,453 people.

Not only did California experience the highest outbound migration among all out-of-state movers, but it also welcomed the second-most Gen Z residents in 2022. Zillow’s population scientist noted California has "a lot" of urban areas with people of all generations moving in and out.

"People have different priorities at different stages of their lives. Young adults may be more willing to be flexible in their living standards or put a larger share of their income toward housing when starting their careers. California is still attracting young movers, particularly those in the military, in tech and in arts, media and entertainment," Berchick said.

Also in the list of top 10 states where Gen Z moved includes more expensive states like Washington, Colorado and Virginia.

Over three-quarters (77%) of Gen Z adults surveyed report they’re renting in these states. Zillow broke down further ACS numbers which found that renters can expect to pay more to rent in California ($1,856), Washington ($1,592), Colorado ($1,594) and Virginia ($1,440). At the time of publication, America’s median rental price is $1,300.

"Our analysis of this data shows that younger workers are moving to more expensive states. This could suggest several things: These states offer higher-paying job opportunities that make it financially viable to live there, or that younger workers are willing to be flexible in their living arrangements to afford living in places that offer the amenities and opportunities they want," Berchick explained.

"They may be more open to living with roommates," he continued, "living in a smaller place or living somewhere farther away from the city center when starting their careers. It’s likely a bit of both."

States with the lowest Gen Z net migration included Michigan, Maryland and Idaho; and Michigan was the only state with a negative trend, where more Gen Zers left than moved in.

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"As movers age, they might look for states where they can afford to put down roots, start a family and buy a home," Berchick pointed out. "And then, later in life, they may prioritize living somewhere that offers particular amenities and a lower cost of living ahead of retirement."

Gen Z is defined by individuals born between 1996 and 2004. Zillow said in its report that the statistics exclude those who reported attending school or university in the past three months, to avoid capturing temporary moves relating to college.

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FOX News’ Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.

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