NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee tips the scales for people moving in from out of state.

With the rapid influx of residents, Nashville has been a top 10 Metropolitan area for population growth over the past seven years, with a 20% population increase in one decade.

Since the start of the pandemic, it’s been clear people are looking to get away. Many have their eyes on Music City.

“They’re coming here because they want to experience what Tennessee is,” said Jeff Checko with the Gary Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage.

The people are doing so in the hope of getting away from high taxes and cost of living, densely populated areas and political policy, much of which surrounds COVID-19.

Checko said they’re moving here for a better quality of life and less expensive cost of living.

“They know the numbers. They’ve been to visit. They like the people, friendly Southern people, and they want to immerse themselves in our culture,” he continued.

It’s why Nashville is one of that nation’s top destinations for movers. The city recently claimed the third highest increase of residents from 2021, to March of this year.

According to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, international migration accounted for more than 20% of Nashville’s net in-migration from 2010 to 2020, with around 4,000 people from abroad moving to Nashville every year.

To break down the numbers even further, Metro Nashville saw a net in-migration of about 13,000 last year, roughly 36 people a day.

The year prior, the area saw 27,000 new people, or 76 people per day. Many of those residents were from California.

“California is still number one. The other states we’re seeing coming in is Illinois, Michigan, and I do have quite a few New York buyers I’ve been working with as well,” Kate Goeringer said, a realtor with Brick Realty.

Data shows nearly 12,000 Californians left for Tennessee in 2019.

“People say, ‘well, it’s the California people that are going to bring their politics. It’s the Cali people going to move into our neighborhoods, and bring their ideas and values.’ And Erica, it’s the opposite,” Bob Rolfe said, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

However, the influx of wealthy out-of-town buyers are bringing the area higher home prices.

The average out-of-towner moving to Nashville in 2021 had $736,900 to spend on a home. That’s 28.5% higher than the $573,400 average budget for local buyers, according to a report by Redfin. It’s the biggest gap among the cities included in the study. 

Nashville’s explosive growth and rising real estate prices are due in part to outside influence. News 2 shows you how investors from around the world are shaping the area with our special reports Outside Influence.