Where we choose to live is so personal…that it’s hard to say what makes a community or a state or a country a “perfect” fit. I filled out a survey once that told me that the ideal spot for me was Rehoboth Beach, DE, but that clearly didn’t account for where I would get my hair straightened or my obsession with Korean food?
That said, it turns out that we Americans appear to agree on a few characteristics that make certain states more desirable than others – we like warm weather and access to water. Just a few examples, from a recent Harris Poll in which Americans were asked to choose a different state to live in (other than their current place of residence):
- California tops the list for the 6th year in a row – and has been in the top 5 since 1997 when we began asking the question.
- Florida has consistently been in the top 3 for the past 11 years.
- Texas is ranked #4, its highest ever spot on the list.
- South Carolina made its inaugural debut in the top 15 rankings this year.
Otherwise, it’s a pretty balanced list – with about half of our favorite states in the South and half in the North…some coastal as above, but others in the desert or forest or mountains…and some densely populated while others not so much…
But here are the two most interesting editorial points, if you ask me….
1) Geographically, we have a noticeable predisposition to states that border or are near-ish to where we already live. So we might move away, but it appears not too far away.
- In the East - Massachusetts, New York and Florida are all tied for #1.
- In the Midwest - California is #1, but Tennessee, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota are all a close second.
- In the South - Florida is #1, followed by Texas.
- In the West - California is #1 by far, with Oregon a distant second.
2) Of the 22 red states from the last presidential election, only 6 made our top states list, compared to 9 (out of 28) blue states. California was the #1 fave among Democrats and Independents, and Florida (also a blue state, though a very light shade) was #1 among Republicans. With boundaries continuing to blur due to innovation in technology, employment and transportation, we can live where we want to live, not where we have to live. So, might the blue states someday turn purple?
Are you happy with where you live right now? Where would you move if money were no object?