Why baby boomers and retirees are ditching Florida for Appalachia

The shift is causing a population spike in many rural Appalachian communities

Apartments being built in North Carolina
As boomers move to Appalachia, apartment complexes — such as this one in Flat Rock, North Carolina — are quickly being built
(Image credit: Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The stereotype of baby boomers moving to Florida post-retirement is one of the oldest around. But while many people from that generation have indeed retired to the Sunshine State, recent reports indicate that boomers are now abandoning Florida for an unlikely alternative: Southern Appalachia, a region that includes Northern Georgia, the Carolinas, and portions of Tennessee and Virginia. 

An influx of boomers moving to Appalachia is "transforming the region from poor, serene and rustic to a bustling retirement haven," said a recent report in The Wall Street Journal. These boomers have become known in Appalachia as "halfbacks," which the Journal said is a "reference to how many first moved from the Northeast and Midwest down to Florida before settling somewhere in between."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us