10 U.S. States People are Leaving and Where They’re Going Instead

10 U.S. States People are Leaving and Where They’re Going Instead

united states map

Just released, the 42nd Annual National Movers Study performed by moving company United Van Lines shows that Americans are on the move and to specific parts of the country. The survey tracked their own customers’ moving patterns for the 2018 year and it reveals a lot about the state of our states.

Overall, the study reveals more people are relocating to southern and western parts of the United States and out of the frigid Northeast. Their study shows not just the states people are fleeing and where they’re going, but also gives some insight into the reasons why.

From this survey, here are the ten states people are leaving the most and where they’re headed.

new jersey houses

STATES WITH THE HIGHEST OUTBOUND MOVES

1. NEW JERSEY

Total Inbound Moves: 33.2%
Total Outbound Moves: 66.8%
Most prevalent inbound age: 65 or older ( 24.82%)
Most prevalent outbound age: 65 or older (34.28%)
Most common inbound income: $150,000+ (42.55%)
Most common outbound income: $150,000+ (42.61%)

The United Van Lines study shows that more people are moving out of New Jersey more than any other U.S. state—66.8% to be exact. The top reasons people attributed to their outbound moves include a lifestyle change (17.36%), to move closer to family (20.44%) and retirement (34.51%), with a job relocation being the biggest reason for both inbound (61.84%) and outbound moves (34.73%).

chicago illinois skyline

2. ILLINOIS

Total Inbound Moves: 34.1%
Total Outbound Moves: 65.9%
Most prevalent inbound age: <18 to 34
Most prevalent outbound age: 65 or older
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: $150,000+

Next on the list is the state of Illinois who saw 65.9% of United Van Lines customers pack up and move out of the state. A change in job were both the top reasons people moved into Illinois (59.11%) and out of Illinois (45.55%). People also moved into and out of the Midwestern state for family reasons and for an overall lifestyle change, with “health” being the least common reason on both sides.

yale university connecticut

3. CONNECTICUT

Total Inbound Moves: 38%
Total Outbound Moves: 62%
Most prevalent inbound age: 65 or older
Most prevalent outbound age: 55 to 64
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: $150,000+

Connecticut comes in third on the list with 62% of Connecticut-involved United Van Lines customers hitting the road for other states, and not as a surprise considering the outbound trend for northeastern states. For both inbound and outbound moves, “job” reasons were the largest contributors to the moves, followed not-so-closely behind by family and retirement.

manhattan new york city taxis

4. NEW YORK

Total Inbound Moves: 38.5%
Total Outbound Moves: 61.5%
Most prevalent inbound age: <18 to 34
Most prevalent outbound age: 55 to 64
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income:  $150,000+

Given that New York is one of the most populous states in the country, the fact that almost 62% of United Van Lines customers are moving out (and opening up some real estate) should come as a relief to the many 18 to 34-year-olds who are moving in. Almost 61% of inbound moves are attributed to job changes, while the majority of outbound moves credit retirement for their relocation.

kansas praries

5. KANSAS

Total Inbound Moves: 41.3%
Total Outbound Moves: 58.7%
Most prevalent inbound age: 55 to 64
Most prevalent outbound age: 55 to 64
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: $150,000+

Though Midwestern states don’t get a lot of outbound moves in general, for Kansans, job relocation was the largest contributing factor to them moving out with almost 64% of respondents citing that as their reason. For those coming in, it was a close race between jobs and family.

columbus ohio

6. OHIO

Total Inbound Moves: 43.5%
Total Outbound Moves: 56.5%
Most prevalent inbound age: 65 or older
Most prevalent outbound age: <18 to 34
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: $150,000+

Ranking sixth in the United Van Lines study is Ohio, whose scores were almost too close to tell. While the most prevalent inbound age was 65 or older (at 23.97%), 35 to 44 came in at 20.66%, and <18 to 34 at 21.77%. As with outbound, <18 to 34 took the lead with 24.89% of respondents, with 65 or older at 23.79% and 55 to 64 right behind that at almost 23%. The primary reason for both inbound and outbound moves in Ohio were job relocations by a large margin.

massachusetts lighthouse

7. MASSACHUSETTS

Total Inbound Moves: 44.3%
Total Outbound Moves: 55.7%
Most prevalent inbound age: 65 or older
Most prevalent outbound age: 65 or older
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: $150,000+

Just like with Ohio, the ages of movers going to and leaving from Massachusetts is almost an even split both inbound and outbound, across the board with almost 23% being 65 or older, followed by 22% for <18 to 34, then 19% for 55 to 64. As for their reasons for moving, more than half (on both the inbound and outbound sides) cited “job” as the primary reason.

iowa hot air balloons

8. IOWA

Total Inbound Moves: 44.5%
Total Outbound Moves: 55.5%
Most prevalent inbound age: <18 to 34
Most prevalent outbound age: <18 to 34
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: $150,000+

As of 2018, Iowa is a new state to the list of high outbound moves coming in at 8th place at over 55%. A whopping $69.64% of those United Van Lines customers reported leaving the state due to job reasons, while an equally impressive 63.21% of inbound moves cited the same reason. Plus, a third of those moves were attributed to those aged between 18 and 34 years.

montana horses

9. MONTANA

Total Inbound Moves: 45%
Total Outbound Moves: 55%
Most prevalent inbound age: 55 to 64
Most prevalent outbound age: 65 or older
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: $150,000+

Montana is another of the three new states to the 2018 United Van Lines Annual National Movers Study with more than half of respondents moving out of the Canada-bordering northwestern state. Almost 40% of respondents stated “family” as their #1 reason for their move, with retirement coming in second at 26.28%

detroit michigan

10. MICHIGAN

Total Inbound Moves: 45%
Total Outbound Moves: 55%
Most prevalent inbound age: 65 or older
Most prevalent outbound age: 65 or older
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: $150,000+

The last of the three new states to the 2018 list is Michigan with 55% of survey respondents leaving the state. Almost half of these individuals cite their job as the motivating factor with retirement (the getting rid of a job) coming in at about half that. Oddly enough, more than 50% of inbound moves credit jobs also.

vermont farm house

STATES WITH THE HIGHEST INBOUND MOVES

1. VERMONT

Total Inbound Moves: 72.7%
Total Outbound Moves: 27.4%
Most prevalent inbound age: 65 or older
Most prevalent outbound age: 65 or older
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: $150,000+

Though most northeastern states suffer huge outbound moves, Vermont is the exception with more than 72% of Vermont-involved moves (234 to be exact) being inbound. Job reasons were the #1 factor for over half of Vermont’s inbound migration followed by family and retirement after that. 

portland oregon skyline

2. OREGON

Total Inbound Moves: 63.8%
Total Outbound Moves: 36.2%
Most prevalent inbound age: 65 or older
Most prevalent outbound age: 65 or older
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: $150,000+

Next on the list of states with the highest number of inbound moves is Oregon. Of the 3,346 total Oregon-involved moves, 63.8% of those were inbound to the Beaver State. Jobs were the most prevalent reason for both inbound (47.22%) and outbound moves (45.64%) followed by family.

boise idaho

3. IDAHO

Total Inbound Moves: 62.4%
Total Outbound Moves: 37.6%
Most prevalent inbound age: 65 or older
Most prevalent outbound age: 55 to 64
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: tie between $75,00 to $99,999 and $100,000 to $150,000

Unlike most of the other states who cited “jobs” and “family” as their biggest reasons for moving, Idaho saw the largest number of inbound moves due to retirement (34.35%) and a desire for a lifestyle change (almost 26%). On the other hand, relocating because of a job was the #1 reason participants moved out of Idaho (61.9% of them actually).

las vegas nevada

4. NEVADA

Total Inbound Moves: 61.8%
Total Outbound Moves: 38.2%
Most prevalent inbound age: 55 to 64
Most prevalent outbound age: tie between 45 to 54 and 55 to 64
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: $150,000+

Nevada is one of those western states that continues to see an annual increase in inbound moves over outbound ones. This year, 46.05% of United Van Lines survey respondents listed their jobs as the motivating factor to them moving to Nevada. Over 62% said the same thing about moving out.

grand canyon children arizona

5. ARIZONA

Total Inbound Moves: 60.2%
Total Outbound Moves: 39.8%
Most prevalent inbound age: 55 to 64
Most prevalent outbound age: tie between 45-54 and 55 to 64
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: $150,000+

Going along with the trend of western states seeing high inbound rates, Arizona joins this list in 2018 for the first time at #5. Jobs were ranked at the top of reasons for inbound moves (46.05%) with retirement to the Grand Canyon state shortly behind it.

south carolina moss

6. SOUTH CAROLINA

Total Inbound Moves: 59.5%
Total Outbound Moves: 40.1%
Most prevalent inbound age: 65 or older
Most prevalent outbound age: 65 or older
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: $150,000+

With retirement being the number one reason cited for moving into South Carolina (36.65%) and the most prevalent age of inbound movers being 65 or older (almost 37%), is it safe to say that the southeastern coastal state of South Carolina is the new Florida?

seattle washington

7. WASHINGTON

Total Inbound Moves: 58.8%
Total Outbound Moves: 41.2%
Most prevalent inbound age: <18 to 34
Most prevalent outbound age: 65 or older
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: $150,000+

In a state as active and progressive as Pacific Northwestern Washington, it’s no wonder the average age of inbound movers is so young, while the age of outbound movers are 65 or older. Interestingly enough though, it’s “job” that was cited as both the top inbound and outbound reason for Washington-involved moves with United Van Lines.

north carolina fall trees

8. NORTH CAROLINA

Total Inbound Moves: 57%
Total Outbound Moves: 43%
Most prevalent inbound age: 55 to 64
Most prevalent outbound age: <18 to 34
Most common inbound income: $150,000+
Most common outbound income: $150,000+

In what seems to be a trend in the Carolinas, the population is getting older. In keeping with the trend, almost 23% of respondents credit their retirement to their move to North Carolina. Despite this, it’s reported job relocations that contributed the most (46.12%) to moves into and out of North Carolina.

south dakota mount rushmore

9. SOUTH DAKOTA

Total Inbound Moves: 57%
Total Outbound Moves: 43%
Most prevalent inbound age: N/A
Most prevalent outbound age: N/A
Most common inbound income: N/A
Most common outbound income: N/A

While 2019 statistics for inbound and outbound moves involving South Dakota are inconclusive from the United Van Lines study, their 2018 survey suggests that job relocations were the highest contributing factor to inbound moves. In keeping with that, the highest concentration of inbound movers are in the <18 to 34 age bracket.

washington dc

10. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Total Inbound Moves: 56.7%
Total Outbound Moves: 43.4%
Most prevalent inbound age: N/A
Most prevalent outbound age: N/A
Most common inbound income: N/A
Most common outbound income: N/A

Along with Arizona, new to the list this year is the District of Columbia. Out of a total of 1,127 District of Columbia-involved moves, almost 57% of those were reported as inbound moves, while around 43% of participants were headed out of the nation’s capital.

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