June 2024 Updates

Key Takeaways

  • Significant Population Growth: The Sun Belt is experiencing substantial population increases, driving most of the U.S. growth.
  • Improved Quality of Life and Affordability: Sun Belt cities are becoming an attractive alternative to traditional urban centers such as New York, thanks to lower living costs and a better quality of life. The trend of relocating to these areas has gained momentum with increased remote work opportunities.
  • Booming Real Estate and Economic Opportunities: The region’s attractive climate and affordability catalyze a real estate boom and economic expansion.
  • Shift in Business and Employment Landscape: The Sun Belt is increasingly seen as a competitive economic hub, with many companies relocating their headquarters to take advantage of lower taxes and a business-friendly climate.
  • Cultural and Recreational Appeal: The pleasant climate and lower living costs make warmer areas attractive to retirees and tourists and enrich the local cultural and recreational landscape. Sun Belt cities are becoming destinations for various outdoor and cultural activities, enhancing their overall appeal as places to live and work.

Population Growth:

The Sun Belt, which includes states like Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas, have become a major hub for U.S. population growth, accounting for about 80% of the increase. This trend is expected to continue with the area’s population projected to grow an additional 10% by 2040 according to Moody’s Analytics. The Sun Belt’s appeal as a preferred destination grows as people increasingly move away from larger cities.

Improved Quality of Life:

Cities like New York City have traditionally attracted recent college graduates, but the high costs and decreasing quality of life drive young people to mid-sized Sun Belt cities. These cities are flourishing with opportunities in the technology, healthcare, and finance sectors. The pandemic has accelerated this trend as people seek better living conditions, and the rise of remote work supports relocating to areas with more space and a lower cost of living.


The Sun Belt offers a more affordable alternative to expensive coastal cities.  In North Carolina cities like Charlotte, Durham, and Raleigh exemplify the region’s balance of affordability and opportunity, with competitive real estate prices and a high quality of life. This affordability attracts a diverse demographic, from young professionals to retirees, who can enjoy vibrant local cultures and robust economies without the financial pressures found in more expensive areas.

Real Estate Dynamics:

The Sun Belt’s attractive climate and cost of living have fueled a boom in its real estate market, with significant investments flowing into residential and commercial properties. This is evident in the strong performance of rental markets and ongoing development projects designed to meet the needs of a growing population. Cities in this region are becoming major hubs for real estate investment, highlighting the area’s economic vitality.  2024 CBRE Research report highlights that nine out of the top ten most attractive markets for real estate investment are located within the Sun Belt states, underscoring the region’s investment potential.

Job Growth: 

Clarion Partners Research reported that economic growth in the Sun Belt is expected to outpace other regions through 2030, particularly in states like Texas and Florida. The region is becoming a new center of economic opportunity, challenging traditional hubs like New York City with its competitive job market and more affordable living conditions. Emerging industries and increased headquarters relocating to the area due to favorable business climates are drawing more professionals and businesses.

Recent News: 

Phoenix has experienced a remarkable increase in tech and manufacturing jobs, a trend that undoubtedly will persist. Austin, TX, previously the fastest-growing city in the U.S. due to its booming tech sector, has now been surpassed by Jacksonville, FL. According to recent Census data, Jacksonville has become the fastest-growing city, bolstered by a diverse economy with strong finance, healthcare, transportation, and logistics sectors.

Tourism and Retirement Trends: 

The Sun Belt’s pleasant climate and lower living costs make it an attractive destination for tourists and retirees alike. Cities offer a range of outdoor and cultural activities, with places like Florida’s beaches and Arizona’s outdoor spaces drawing significant numbers of visitors and new residents. The vibrant cultural scenes and entertainment offerings are significant attractions in Sun Belt cities such as Las Vegas, Orlando, Nashville, Austin, and Atlanta. The region is also continuing to be the preferred destination for the increasing population of retirees, prompting the need for advanced urban planning to accommodate this demographic.

Pro-Business Climate: 

According to CBRE, over the past six years, one-third of U.S. companies have moved their headquarters to the Sun Belt to benefit from lower taxes and a more business-friendly environment. This shift has spurred employment growth and economic performance in the Sunbelt States to twice that of other states, attracting a younger workforce and contributing to the region’s dynamic economic landscape.


The Sun Belt’s growing appeal is underpinned by its favorable climate, strong job market, and affordable living conditions. As remote work becomes more common and the demographic landscape evolves, the Sun Belt is poised to continue its growth trajectory and redefinition of urban and economic vitality well into the future.


John Gallegos | Post Author
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