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Where are Americans Moving?

Americans Continue to Leave Midwest, NE for Warmer Climates (SW, SE) per North American Van Lines Report

CHICAGO, Jan. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- North American Van Lines, Inc. has released its latest migration map, updated through 2019, showing where Americans have moved throughout the years. According to the latest information published by the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of people that move every year equates to 14% of the population (or roughly 40 million). People move for a variety of reasons: housing, jobs, family, etc.  Being aware of cross-country moving migration patterns can give you a better idea of the behavior of Americans. The following historical U.S. migration study will provide you the states with the largest influx of moves and the states that have the most outbound moves. The updated migration map can be found at www.northamerican.com/migration-map/.

Americans continue to move away from the Midwest, NE and to warmer climates, according to 2019 Migration map and report from northAmerican Van Lines. Moving migration patterns similar to 2018 with SW and SE states boasting largest number of inbound moves.

Key Takeaways from 2019 Migration Report

  • The top three states for outbound moves in 2019 were Illinois, California, and New Jersey.
  • Minnesota re-emerged as the sixth highest state for outbound moves after not being in the top eight the year before.
  • Connecticut, which also was not in the top 8 last year, moved up to #8 for the states with the most outbound moves in 2019.
  • For inbound moves, the top five states in 2019 were identical to 2018, with Idaho first followed in order by Arizona, South Carolina, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

Additional Takeaways

Northeastern states

The northeastern states rank high for outbound moves and have not placed within the top eight states for inbound moves since the study began in 2015.

Illinois came in first for outbound moves in 2019. This is the 5th time in the last 6 years where Illinois has led that category.

Connecticut ranked fifth in 2015, sixth in 2016, second in 2017, completely fell out of the Top 8 last year, until moving back in 2019 at eight.

Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey have consistently been in the Top 8 of outbound moves since the study began in 2015.

Data suggests that Americans move out of the Northeast for a few reasons:

  1. They are some of the least tax friendly states: (https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/taxes/T006-S001-10-least-tax-friendly-states-in-the-u-s-2019/index.html)
  2. The weather, to escape from the bone-chilling temperatures.
  3. Jobs. Many companies are moving to warmer clients where the costs are lower: (https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2015/5/13/which-states-have-the-most-job-growth-since-the-recession)

Southern states

The southern states rank within the top eight for inbound moves only. These states have not ranked for outbound moves since the study began.

South Carolina consistently ranks high for inbound moves. It was third in 2015 before falling to fourth place in 2016 and 2017. South Carolina rose again to third place again in 2018 and 2019. Its percentage of inbound moves fell one point between 2018 and 2019.

Tennessee has risen steadily in the rankings for inbound moves since 2015 when it came in seventh. Tennessee rose to sixth place for inbound moves in 2016, fifth in 2017, and fourth in both 2018 and 2019. Its percentage of inbound moves decreased one point between 2018 and 2019. Florida has stayed within the top eight states for inbound moves since 2015. It ranked fifth in 2015 and 2016, sixth in 2017, seventh in 2018, and sixth again in 2019.

North Carolina fell from third place for inbound moves in 2016 and 2017 to fifth place in 2018 and 2019. Texas ranked eighth for inbound moves in both 2018 and 2019.

Georgia, which ranked eighth for inbound moves in 2016 and 2017 has since fallen out of the rankings and was not in the top eight for 2019.

Why do the Southern states seem to have the influx of moves? For the same reasons that apply to the previously mentioned Northeastern states, except for the opposite reasons.

  1. Very friendly tax states: (https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/taxes/T054-S001-10-most-tax-friendly-states-in-the-u-s-2019/index.html)
  2. Warmer climates
  3. Job growth friendly states: (https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/business/T019-S010-states-with-the-fastest-rates-of-job-growth-2020/index.html)

Midwestern states

States in the Midwest typically rank for outbound moves. However, Colorado ranked sixth for inbound moves in 2018 before falling to seventh place in 2019.

Minnesota was not in the top eight states for outbound moves in 2018 but came in sixth place for 2019. It ranked high in several previous years as well.

Illinois is the leader here having ranked in the top spot for 5 out of the last 6 years.

Similar to Illinois, Michigan has consistently been a member of the states with the most outbound moves.

Western states

The western states are mixed, with rankings for both inbound and outbound moves.

Idaho tops the charts most years for the highest percentage of inbound moves. It has ranked first every year since 2015 except for 2017 when it was ousted by Arizona. Arizona consistently tops the chart for inbound moves as well, possibly due to its popularity as a retirement destination. It's ranked second every year since 2015 with the exception of its first-place spot in 2017. Arizona was only one percentage point behind Idaho in 2019.

Colorado ranked sixth for inbound moves in 2018 and fell to seventh place in 2019. However, its percentage of inbound moves rose one percentage point between 2018 and 2019. Though Oregon ranked within the top eight states for inbound moves from 2015 to 2017, it fell out of the rankings in both 2018 and 2019.

The 2 Western states that seem to always be among the states with the most outbound moves are Washington state and California.

Our Methodology
This is our data of all state inbound and outbound COD moves (household moves).   We define the top inbound and outbound states as those that have the highest proportion of moves where the absolute value difference of inbound and outbound moves is greater than or equal to 400.  This weeds out states that had a small number of moves but would have a high ratio of inbound/outbound moves.

About North American Van Lines, Inc.
North American Van Lines, Inc. (U.S. DOT No. 070851), established in 1933, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SIRVA Inc., a leader in providing relocation solutions to a well-established and diverse customer base around the world. The Fort Wayne, Indiana based moving company has more than 500 agents worldwide, handles corporate, government, military and private relocations, and operates in the U.S., Canada and more than 100 countries worldwide.  Information at www.northamerican.com.

Media Contacts
Laura McKay
North American Van Lines
630.468.4865

 

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SOURCE North American Van Lines, Inc.