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New survey finds 74% of Americans feel they have a hometown — and 58% think of their hometown as where they originally come from

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 18, 2021 – There’s no place like home – but how do you find “home” after relocating? In new customer data and survey findings, Mayflower reveals how Americans are defining their identities in new places amid the great reshuffling across the nation.  

Today, Mayflower shared the results of its new “Finding Home” data, indicating the top states and cities Americans moved to throughout the past two years. The data showed that, among locations where Mayflower supported 800 or more total moves, Idaho experienced a higher percentage of inbound moves than any other state from July 2019 to July 2021. In addition, Sarasota, Fla., saw a higher percentage of inbound migration compared to any other major metropolitan area during the same timeframe.  

Alongside the migration data, a new survey from Mayflower, also released today, revealed nearly three-fourths of Americans (74%) feel they have a hometown. However, the meaning of “hometown” is in the eye of the beholder: 58% think of their hometown as the place they come from, while 42% think of their hometown as the place they’re currently living. 

According to the survey: 

  • Millennials (76%) are the most likely generation to consider moving back to a city they lived in before, compared to 66% of Gen X, 59% of Gen Z and just 37% of Baby Boomers.
  • More than half (57%) are likely to adopt the professional sports team from their new location. 
  • Nearly half (48%) of movers say the proximity to arts and culture venues helped influence where they moved to. Notably, this is higher among men than women (57% vs. 39%) and among Gen Z (58%) and Millennials (65%) compared to Boomers (26%). 
  • Those in the Northeast (61%) are significantly more likely to cite arts and culture venues as an influence compared to the South (46%), West (45%) and Midwest (44%). 
  • Roughly two thirds (67%) indicate the weather as a top influence, followed by proximity to parks, green spaces and nature trails (61%).  
  • Roughly half of movers chose their own region as having the most delicious foods. Aside from respective regions, the South emerged as the second leading response across all regions, with 38% of respondents saying the South is home to the tastiest foods. 
  • Those who feel they have a hometown are more likely to recommend it as a place to live.

On the regional front, New York style pizza was cited as the favorite Northeastern regional cuisine (63%), while barbeque (44%) topped the list of Midwestern food favorites. However, compared to other regions, Westerners were most likely to say their area had no well-known foods. When it comes to commonly used local lingo, the survey also found the most debated regional terminology to be “stuffing” versus “dressing,” with 38% preferring the former, 36% preferring the latter and 26% unsure. 

“As the most recognized and trusted moving company in the country, Mayflower moves thousands of families each year, helping them settle into their new homes and begin to explore their identities in a new place,” said Eily Cummings, director of corporate communications, Mayflower. “With a broad network of more than 200 agencies, our recent data also points to the broader moving patterns we’re seeing among Americans during this time of great reshuffling.” 

Where Americans are Finding Home 

The top inbound states (with 800 total moves or more) from July 2019-July 2021 were:  

  1. Idaho
  2. South Carolina
  3. Oregon
  4. Tennessee
  5. Florida

The top inbound metropolitan statistical areas (with 800 total moves or more) from July 2019-July 2021 were:  

  1. Sarasota, Fla.
  2. Wilmington, N.C.  
  3. Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fla. 
  4. Santa Fe, N.M.  
  5. Boise, Idaho


Survey Background and Methodology 

TRUE Global Intelligence, the in-house research practice of FleishmanHillard, fielded an online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults who moved more than 300 miles during the time frame of July 2019 to July 2021. The survey was fielded between September 13-23, 2021. The results are representative of the U.S. population by gender, generation and U.S. Census region.