TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — When it comes to American migration, it seems nowhere is more popular than the South. According to a new study by LendingTree, Florida, Texas, and North Carolina are some of the biggest places people are moving to in the United States.

Not only is Florida a consistent popular zone for those moving around the country, but two cities in Tampa Bay made it onto a list of biggest “boomtowns” in the U.S. — Lakeland and North Port, in Polk and Sarasota counties, both made it into the top 10.

Lakeland, of the Florida cities on the list, was ranked highest as the third biggest boomtown in the country. Jacksonville and North Port were Nos. 5 and 6, respectively.

Across the South, a particular draw is states’ lower tax burdens, according to LendingTree.

“People — especially work-from-home employees — are leaving for warm weather and lower taxes,” LendingTree chief credit analyst Matt Schulz said. “Especially for Florida and Texas, those two factors have been instrumental in driving a lot of the growth.”

When it comes to housing growth, median earnings, and new employer identification numbers, the start of new businesses basically, Lakeland scored top five marks in all three, according to the LendingTree study.

Staying focused on Lakeland, LendingTree said the metro area “performed well” across most of the metrics they examined, including its housing growth and start of new businesses.

As referenced by Gov. Ron DeSantis on multiple occasions, Florida had a large number of new business starts, with big portions of all starts in the U.S. in 2022. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau backs up the claim, showing that in Florida, business starts were up 8.5% year-over-year as of January 2023, with only Wyoming showing faster growth.

From January to December 2022, there were more than 607,282 new business starts across the state of Florida, according to the Census. Nationally, there were 5,044,748, meaning Florida was 12% of the whole for new business starts in 2022 and beating out California’s 485,960 or 9%.

Here’s LendingTree’s ranking of biggest boomtowns in the U.S.

1Austin, Texas
2Provo, Utah
3Lakeland, Fla.
4Boise, Ida.
5Jacksonville, Fla.
6North Port, Fla.
7Durham, N.C.
8Raleigh, N.C.
9Charlotte, N.C.
10Virginia Beach, Va.
(Source: LendingTree)