02-05 January 6, 2005
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2005 Migration Study Coming in January 2006!

West and Southeast Gain in Appeal, North Sees More Leaving
According to Latest United Van Lines Migration Study

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 6, 2005 - The year 2004 saw many people packing up and heading west and southeast, while northern states, including New York and states in the Great Lakes area, experienced an increase in residents leaving, as measured by the business trends of United Van Lines, the nation's largest household goods mover.

The statistics are among the findings of United's 28th annual "migration" study (see map below) that tracks where its customers, over the last 12 months, moved from and the most popular destinations. The findings were announced by United Executive Vice President Brian Paluch.

United has tracked shipment patterns annually on a state-by-state basis since 1977. For 2004, the accounting is based on the 222,040 interstate household moves handled by United among the 48 contiguous states, as well as Washington, D.C. In its study, United classifies each state in one of three categories -- "high inbound" (55% or more of moves going into a state); "high outbound" (55% or more of moves coming out of a state); or "balanced." Although the majority of states were in the "balanced" category last year, several showed more substantial population shifts.

Movement into the western portion of the United States increased in 2004, with Oregon (63.7%) continuing its 26-year inbound trend and seeing a 7.1 percent increase of inbound migration as compared to last year. It also had the highest inbound migration of all states in the study. Oregon, along with Nevada (62.6% inbound, inbound since the inception of the study), Idaho (60.5% inbound, classified as high inbound for the past 17 years), and Arizona (60% inbound), are the western states that were classified as "high inbound."

In addition to the west welcoming more residents, the southeastern states also were a top destination. North Carolina (61.8%) and Alabama (61.0%) saw their highest-ever inbound percentages. South Carolina (60.2%) continued its decade-long inbound tradition, while Florida (59.9%) saw its highest inbound percentage since 1988.

With almost a six percent increase of inbound migration as compared to last year, Iowa (56.7%) was the only top migration spot in the Midwest. Rounding out the list of high-inbound states is Delaware (57.9%), which has been inbound for the past decade, and Washington, D.C. (59.8%), which has remained inbound since the first year of the study.

Some other noteworthy inbound-migration states in 2004:

  • After being classified as outbound states last year, Arkansas (54.4%), Maine (51.8%) and Vermont (51.5%) saw an influx of people moving in.
  • Georgia (53.4%) has remained an inbound state since 1982.
  • New Mexico (53.3%) and Montana (52.3%) continued their four-year pattern of inbound migration.
  • After five years of outbound migration, Washington (50.7%) became an inbound state.

States in the northern half of the country generally showed an outbound trend, according to United's records. After being the highest outbound state for the past four years, North Dakota (63.5%) saw 4.1 percent less people leaving as compared to last year. On the other hand, almost three percent more people left Indiana (64.1%) as compared to last year, making it the highest outbound state in this year's study.

Other northern states continued to show dramatic increases in outbound migration. Minnesota (58.6%), which has been outbound for 24 years, had a nearly six percent increase of people moving from the state as compared to last year. Michigan (60.9%) reached its highest outbound level since 1982, and Ohio (55.1%) had its highest percentage of people moving out since 1997. Both Illinois (60.5%) and Wisconsin (55.7%) continued their outbound trend since the inception of the study.

In the northeast, New Jersey (60.2%, high outbound since 1997), New York (59.5%, a continual increase in outbound for past three years), Pennsylvania (57.5%, its first time high outbound in three years) and Massachusetts (55.5%, outbound since 1988) were all "high outbound" states.

Some of the other noteworthy outbound-migration states in 2004:

  • California (54.7%) continued to see more people leaving and experienced its highest out-migration in nine years.
  • After experiencing inbound migration for the past two years, Louisiana (53.4%) and Mississippi (54.3%) became outbound states.
  • Wyoming (52.2%) has an almost two percent increase in out-migration as compared to last year.
  • Missouri (53.1%) has continued to be outbound since 1995 and this year was the highest outbound percentage in six years.

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