If Powerball wishes and caviar dreams came true, almost one in five Americans say they would prefer to move to Atlanta.

That’s one compelling (and surprising, perhaps) finding in a recent survey conducted by Clever, a real estate data company, that showed 18 percent of people in the U.S. would favoring living somewhere in Atlanta if money were no object. 

That’s good for No. 2 on Clever’s list of “dream cities”—and probably enough to make the "We Full" contingent wince. Sunny, star-studded Los Angeles reigned supreme as No. 1.

The rest of the top five dream locales, according to 1,000 Americans who moved in 2022 and took surveys: Austin (No. 3), Las Vegas, and Miami, respectively. (Respondents were asked to select their top five ideal cities to relocate to, regardless of cost.)

The study’s broader purpose was to analyze moving trends as Americans continue to grapple with inflation and ballooning costs-of-living, especially in urban areas, despite a relatively strong jobs market.  

Clever Real Estate

For surveyed Americans who moved last year, the three biggest factors driving that decision were to improve quality of life (24 percent), to live in a cheaper area (23 percent), and to get a bigger place (22 percent), per Clever’s findings. Atlanta could help check each of those boxes, especially compared to coastal metros.

The top five urban areas where these big-city dreamers are actually moving to, however, stack up differently: Austin (No. 1), Raleigh, Orlando, Dallas, and Phoenix, respectively. That’s based on Clever’s analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data—and the percentage of population increase since 2010.

As a state overall, Georgia isn’t mentioned as a dream destination, or a place where residents are flooding in or trickling out. (Ironically or not, California was the top dream destination—and the No. 1 state for out-migration.) Florida was the most popular state respondents moved to last year.   

Clever Real Estate

And in a blow to urbanist mentality everywhere, the study found that suburbs were a popular destination. Really popular. 

Of those 1,000 people who moved, 25 percent uprooted from cities to suburbs, while 31 percent switched from rural places to the ‘burbs as well.

Clever Real Estate


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