• Conservatives are fleeing blue states in favor of red states. 
  • And South Carolina is one of the fastest growing states for newcomers. 
  • Conservatives are fed up with the cost of living, and the politics, in blue states. 

Conservatives are flocking en masse from blue states to one Republican stronghold in particular: South Carolina.

Between 2017 and 2021, about a third of South Carolina’s new arrivals came from blue states while a quarter came from red states and the rest came from divided states or outside the US, according to US Census Data analyzed by The Wall Street Journal.

And the majority of those newcomers — about 57% — are Republican, the Journal reported, citing data from a nonpartisan voter file vendor called L2.

In 2022, the top 10 states people moved to South Carolina from were North Carolina, Georgia, New York, California, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Jersey, and Maryland, according to US Census Data reviewed by The State.

Conservative Move, a real estate company with about 500 agents across the country, helps conservatives find homes near like-minded people — and South Carolina is becoming a big draw.

The group's founder Paul Chabot told Business Insider that while Texas and Florida are consistently the top locations his conservative clients choose to move to, South Carolina is the fastest growing. In the last two years, he said he's seen a big spike in Americans wanting to relocate to South Carolina specifically. Currently, he said, about 5,000 of his clients are considering moving to the state soon.

A lot of his clients are coming from places like California, Washington state, and Oregon, he said.

Chabot said the people his company helps relocate are fed up with living in Democratic-controlled states where liberal policies are making daily life less affordable — policies like, he said, the new $20 minimum wage law for fast food workers in California.

Conservatives' sense of safety is another major factor in their decisions to move away from liberal enclaves, Chabot said.

"They want to live in areas where they know that they're going to feel safe, that there's going to be a police response, that the police are respected," Chabot added.

One South Carolina real-estate agent based in Spartanburg, Brad Liles, told The New York Times that he and his colleagues have started calling the flood of Republican homebuyers in the state "the great migration."

A typical home in South Carolina sold for about $281,000, according to Zillow's median home price data as of February. By comparison, Zillow reported California's median home sale price at about $673,000, while Washington state's was about $526,000. South Carolina even has an edge above Texas and Florida, where the median sale price of a home for the same time period was about $316,000 and $363,000, respectively, according to Zillow.

It's not just about affordability. It's also about being surrounded by like-minded conservatives, some South Carolina transplants told the Times.

"When I walked inside banks or stores or schools, there was always Christian music playing in the background," Lina Brock, a conservative who recently moved from California to Greenville, South Carolina, told the Times about her new city. "I felt good, I felt welcomed. I felt like I was in the United States."

But the arrival of new residents to Greenville, in particular, has driven up housing prices, pricing out many longtime Black residents, the Times reported. Since 1990, Greenville's Black population has declined 22%, according to a 2023 study from Furman University. By comparison, the city's total population has increased 21% in the same time period, the Times reported.

Chabot said blue states need to take a page out of red states' playbook.

"States right now are really competing with each other for population," Chabot said. "And so if these blue states want to get better, then they need to look at what red states are doing to retain their populations and their businesses."

Some blue states are experiencing a loss of residents — in 2022, for example, California saw a net loss of over 300,000 residents, Forbes reported, citing census data, while Washington state had a net loss of about 15,000 residents, The Columbian reported, also off census numbers.

Red states like Texas, on the other hand, had a net gain of almost 175,000 residents in 2022. And Florida takes the cake for population growth, with a 1.9% increase between 2021 and 2022, according to the US Census Bureau.

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