According to a Bank of America Institute study about population migration, Columbus, Ohio, was the city with the most significant influx of people in Q3 and Q4 2023. This research indicates that US migration had been primarily from the West to the South. The other cities with significant population influxes for the period were Tampa, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, San Antonio, and Austin.
Columbus is in a part of the United States identified as the least likely, worldwide, to be severely affected by climate change. Among the reasons identified are that in the region from Pittsburgh to the Western section of Michigan, drought, extreme heat, and flooding are not likely to become sharply different in 25 years than they are now.
In 2022, the National Association of Realtors published a study titled “30 Percent of Americans Cite Climate Change as Motivation to Move.” The figure was even higher among people ages 26 to 41. This group probably included first-home buyers. The Yale School of the Environment looked at migration statistics and came to a similar conclusion. Its experts wrote:
Increasingly, worsening climate effects, including heat waves, wildfires, floods, droughts, and sea level rise, are leading a growing number of Americans to have second thoughts about where they are living and to decide to move to places that are perceived to be less exposed to these impacts, according to anecdotal reports and a growing volume of academic research.
Columbus is attractive to people who want to move to areas with climate safety and liveability. The same is not true of the other large cities in the region, notably Cleveland and Detroit, which are plagued by high poverty rates, decreasing populations, poor school systems, and outward business migrations.
Columbus is home to one of the premier state schools in America–Ohio State. It has grown to be the largest city in the state, with a population of over 900,000, twice what it was in 1960. It is the headquarters of six Fortune 500 companies—Cardinal Health, American Electric Power,
L Brands, Nationwide, Bread Financial, and Huntington Bancshares.
Although Columbus is not an affluent city, median household income is only slightly below the national average, which is impressive for a large city.
Columbus has to be a strong contender if people want to move to a climate-friendly and liveable city in th US.