Susan Gifford moved last August from Rome, New York, to Garden City, South Carolina, where she lives in a home two miles from the beach. “The weather was the motivating factor, getting away from winter,” the 67-year-old retired teacher said.

Almost 600,000 Americans moved from the Midwest and Northeast to the Sun Belt states last year, the most since 2005, according to Brookings Institution demographer William Frey. Migration is boosting growth along Southeast and Western coasts as well as Nevada and Arizona, reflecting a healthier national economy that has made it easier to re-locate.

Retirement centers Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and The Villages near Orlando were the fastest growing metro areas in the U.S. in the year ended July 1, while a flow of younger workers have led to employment booms in Florida, Georgia and Nevada, all growing at almost twice the rate of the nation.

“There’s been a renewed push of people moving to the Sun Belt,” said IHS Markit economist Karl Kuykendall. “The 2009 recession slowed it down because of the housing slump and severely hurt resident mobility. More people are back to moving south and west for better jobs, and there is retiree migration as well.”

Sun Belt migration fell by almost half between 2005 and 2010 as aging baby boomers delayed retirement in the wake of both plunging home prices and stocks, and the “sand states” suffered from record foreclosures. Moreover, fewer job opportunities in the wake of the most severe recession since the 1930s prompted fewer job-related moves.

“Think of the recession as freezing people in place — now that is thawing,” said Kenneth Johnson, senior demographer and public policy professor at the University of New Hampshire. “States with histories of slow growth due to large domestic migration losses — which did better during the recession — are starting to see less growth again.”

U.S. government data released Friday showed that residential investment increased at a 13.7 percent annualized pace in the first quarter, contributing 0.5 percentage point to economic growth, the most since the fourth quarter of 2012.

Florida added 207,155 people in 2016, or almost 600 people a day. By contrast, New York, Illinois and California each lost more than 100,000 people.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce promotes tourism in about 50 travel and trade shows each year, and the visits now invite relocation as well, said Brad Dean, its president. Recent pitches were in Scranton, Pennsylvania, as well as Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio.

“We hear people say, ‘When I can sell this home I am moving down south,'” he said. “There is clearly a base of people ready to make a change. We are not surprised by this steady growth. Our message is always well received.”