2023 Study Corporate Relocation at Highest Rate Since 2017. According to Jacksonville Elite Movers who completed this 2023 study in the current year.

Key Findings

  • 593 (~9%) of America’s corporations moved headquarters since the beginning of 2022, the highest rate since 2017
  • 29% more companies moved their HQs in 2022-23 than in the previous fiscal year
  • 20% of corporate relocations happened within the same city; 31% moved to a different city within the same state
  • 62% of corporations moved to a city with a smaller population
  • According to our survey, 72% of people would be prepared to move with their employer, provided relocation costs were covered
  • Almost half (44%) of our survey respondents would be willing to follow their employer to a different state

Whether to cut costs, gain a more beneficial tax rate, or be closer to a target market, about 9% of corporations in the United States moved their headquarters within the past fiscal year — the highest percentage since 2016-17, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.

States like New York and cities like Seattle are seeing corporate headquarters move away, while smaller cities outside large urban centers are becoming new homes to big companies in tech and pharmaceuticals.

Our study breaks down where companies are moving to, which states and cities they’re leaving behind, and whether workers are on board with following their employer to their new HQ location.

On the Move: Corporate Relocation Rate Highest in Seven Years

According to the most recent SEC figures, 593 (or 8.9%) of the roughly 6,700 publicly traded corporations in America moved their HQs in the past fiscal year (i.e., March 2022-March 2023).

2022-2023 had the highest rate of corporate headquarters relocation in seven years, and it’s been on the rise since it took a dip to below 7% in 2020 (likely due to the pandemic).

A Flourish chart

Comparing the absolute number of companies moving their offices year-over-year, the 593 corporations moving HQs in 2022-23 represents a 29% growth over the fewer number of companies (458) that relocated in 2021-22.

It is also the highest year-over-year bounce in a decade, besting even the post-pandemic return to activity in 2021-22. That was a banner year, where the number of corporations relocating their HQs went up by 25%.

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2023 Study: Corporate Relocation at Highest Rate Since 2017

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Top States Based On Our 2023 Study

Florida for the Win: Which states are corporations moving to?

Not only are corporates moving in high numbers, but as many as 24% of those that moved chose to relocate their headquarters to a different state entirely. Here’s the breakdown.

Florida had 86% more corporations move their HQ there, compared to the number of companies that chose to move their head office out of Florida — the highest net gain of any state!

Texas, the state that in the last year has officially moved their welcomed Hewlett-Packard and Caterpillar Inc, among other companies, saw the second highest net gain (71%).

Two other states had notably strong showings, Arizona (+65%) and Utah (+57%), both saw very impressive growth in the number of HQs of America’s corporations they now host.

Which states are corporations leaving?

Office moving trends appear to be relatively similar to individual people’s moving trends, at least in the sense that leaving places like New York and California is a popular idea.

The state that corporations were most likely to abandon was, surprisingly, Washington, with 83% more companies leaving it than moving in. Notable departures include media company Arena Group, and Clearsign Technologies, a developer of emission control solutions.

New York (-51%) and California (-46%) aren’t far behind Washington, ranking second and third among the states that lost the most corporate HQs, respectively.

Among the companies that left New York are Philip Morris International and the financial firm Assurant, Inc. California’s noteworthy departures include the coworking space giant WeWork and clinical nutrition company Guardion Health Sciences.

Location-based Insights

  • Florida (+86%) and Texas (+71%) are the states with the greatest net gain of corporate headquarters in the past year
  • Washington (-83%) registered the highest net loss of corporate HQs since the start of 2022
  • Waltham, MA (+175%), Burlington, MA (+133%), and Spring, TX (+100%) had the most corporate move-ins, compared to the number of those moving out
  • Cambridge, MA (-40%), Seattle, WA (-37%), and San Jose, CA (-25%) are the cities with the largest net losses of corporate HQs in the past year

Top Cities Based On Our 2023 Study

Going East: Which cities are corporations moving to? 

When it comes to specific destinations for corporates looking for a new HQ, Waltham, MA saw the highest corporate net growth across cities over the past fiscal year (+175%). (Five companies moved to this relatively small city on the outskirts of Boston, and not a single one left.)

Noteworthy new corporate residents of Waltham, MA include biotech and pharmaceutical firms such as Cogent Biosciences and CinCor Pharma.

Burlington, MA (+133%) and Spring, TX (+100%) are second and third in growth, respectively. Burlington’s newly headquartered corporations are software companies and biotech firms, while Spring, TX is where Hewlett-Packard moved their headquarters in a widely publicized move

Meanwhile, three cities in Florida are among the 10 with the highest net gains: Jacksonville, FL (+67%), Tampa, FL (+49%), and Miami, FL (+33%).

Which cities are corporations leaving?

Unexpectedly, the city that lost the most corporate HQs compared to the number it gained is Cambridge, MA (-40%).

This famous college town next to Boston, MA has long been a mecca for many biotech and pharma firms, which seemingly doesn’t leave room for previous industry giants. 

“Not only are corporates moving in high numbers, but as many as 24% of those that moved chose to relocate their headquarters to a different state entirely.”

Just beneath Cambridge, Seattle (-37.5%), as well as multiple cities in the Bay Area of California, lost multiple company headquarters over the past fiscal year compared to the number they gained. New York City (-13.4% ) also makes an appearance in the 12th spot.

It is worth noting that despite the net losses, dozens of companies still established their new headquartered in New York City within the past year, as well as in other net loss cities, like San Jose and San Francisco.

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