Oregon holds on to its title as “Top Moving Destination” and continues to pull away from the pack, while the Northeast loses residents for the third consecutive year.
Those are the key findings from United Van Lines’ 38th Annual National Movers Study, which tracks customers’ migration patterns state-to-state during the course of the past year. The study found that Oregon is the top moving destination of 2014, with 66 percent of moves to and from the state being inbound — that’s a nearly 5 percent increase of inbound moves compared to 2013. Arriving at No. 2 on the list was South Carolina (61 percent inbound), followed closely in third by its northern neighbor, North Carolina (61 percent).
The District of Columbia, which held the top spot on the inbound list from 2008 to 2012 and ranked fourth last year, fell to No. 7 this year with 57 percent inbound moves. New additions to the 2014 top inbound list include Vermont (59 percent), Oklahoma (57 percent) and Idaho (56 percent).
The Northeast is experiencing a moving deficit with New Jersey (65 percent outbound), New York (64 percent) and Connecticut (57 percent) making the list of top outbound states for the third consecutive year.
In a separate survey of its customers, United Van Lines found the Northeast region also had the highest number of people leaving for retirement with more than one in four respondents indicating retirement as the reason for relocation. The Mountain West had the highest number of retirees moving to the region with nearly one in three individuals surveyed saying they relocated there to retire.
“We’ve been tracking the number of inbound and outbound domestic moves for nearly four decades, and through our data are able to identify the most and least popular states for residential relocation year after year. This year we also surveyed customers to determine why they were relocating,” said Melissa Sullivan, director of marketing communications at United Van Lines. “As the nation’s largest household goods mover, United Van Lines shipment and survey data paints an accurate reflection of the overall U.S. state-to-state moving trends.”
“With economic stability growing nationally, the current migration patterns reflect longer-term trends of movement to the southern and western states, especially to those where housing costs are relatively lower, climates are more temperate and job growth has been at or above the national average, among other factors,” said Michael Stoll, economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Unique amenities such as outdoor recreation, arts and entertainment activities, and green space protection likely continue to propel Oregon to the top of the list for the second straight year.”
United has tracked migration patterns annually on a state-by-state basis since 1977. For 2014, the study is based on household moves handled by United within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. United classifies states as “high inbound” if 55 percent or more of the moves are going into a state, “high outbound” if 55 percent or more moves were coming out of a state or “balanced” if the difference between inbound and outbound is negligible.
The top inbound states of 2014 were:
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
- District of Columbia
The Western U.S. is represented on the high-inbound list by Oregon (66 percent) and Nevada (57 percent). Of moves to Oregon, a new job (38 percent) and retirement (29 percent) led the reasons for most inbound moves. Nevada remained on the high inbound list for the fourth consecutive year.
The top outbound states for 2014 were:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
In addition to the Northeast, Illinois (63 percent) held steady at the No. 3 spot, ranking in the top five for the last six years.
New additions to the 2014 top outbound list include North Dakota (61 percent), Ohio (59 percent), Kansas (58 percent) and Mississippi (55 percent).
Several states gained approximately the same number of residents as those that left. Traffic in states including Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Wyoming leveled this year compared to 2013 migration data. Tennessee appeared on the balanced list for the second consecutive year.