During the year 2005, many people packed up and moved their homes to the Southeast and West, while the Midwest and Northeast 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 29th annual “migration” study that tracks where its customers, over the last 12 months, moved from and the most popular destinations. The findings were announced by United Vice President Carl Walter.
United has tracked shipment patterns annually on a state-by-state basis since 1977. For 2005, the accounting is based on the 226,353 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 mountain West increased in 2005, with Oregon (63.6%) continuing its 18-year, high-inbound trend and having the highest inbound migration of all states in the study. While still a high-inbound state, Nevada (60.1% inbound) witnessed the fewest moves coming in since 1998. Idaho (61.9% inbound), classified as high inbound for the past 18 years, saw its highest inbound year since 1998; and Arizona (60.1% inbound) saw its highest inbound since 1996.
Although not considered “high inbound,” the other mountain West states also welcomed the arrival of new residents. Colorado (53.5% inbound) continued its three-year inbound trend and had nearly 2% more moves into the state as compared to last year. New Mexico (54.2% inbound) and Montana (54.4% inbound) retained their four-year inbound status. Utah (50.1% inbound) and Wyoming (50.1% inbound) boasted a more than 2% increase in moves as compared to 2004.
In addition to the West seeing an inbound migration influx, the Southeastern states also were a top migration spot. North Carolina (61.3%) and South Carolina (59.0%) continued their 12-year inbound tradition, while Alabama (58.9%) continued its three-year, high-inbound trend. Two southeastern states saw their highest arrival percentage in years: Georgia (55.2%, highest percentage since 1982); and Tennessee (58.0%, highest percentage since 1995). Kentucky (55.3%) welcomed its first year as a high-inbound state since the inception of the study.
Rounding out the list of high-inbound states is Washington, D.C. (61.4%), which has remained inbound since the first year of the study.
Some other noteworthy inbound-migration states in 2005:
While Florida (54.2%) has been inbound since the survey commenced, this year marked the lowest number of relocations to the state since 2000.
Texas (53.9%) continued inbound movement since 1989 and saw slightly (1.3%) more people move in as compared to last year.
As compared with 2004, Washington (53.4%) became the destination for 2.7% more residents.
States in the Northeast and Midwest generally showed an outbound trend, according to United’s records. New York (59.8%) has been an outbound state since the survey was established, but after eight years as a balanced state, Rhode Island (57.0%) jumped to the high-outbound list this year. Continuing their outbound tradition, New Jersey (60.4%, outbound since 1997) and Pennsylvania (56.0%, high outbound for the past two years) also saw residents depart.
Not identified as “high outbound,” but following the outbound trend in the Northeastern part of the country, Connecticut (53.5%) saw its third successive year of out-migration and Maryland (53.5%) continued its 13-year outbound tradition. Maine (51.2%) observed 3% more relocations leave in 2005 than 2004, and Massachusetts (54.1%) lost residents for the 18th year straight.
Toward the middle of the country, Midwestern states also experienced outbound migration. Although considered high outbound, two states had less people leaving than they did last year: Indiana (59.9% outbound; 4.2% less than 2004) and Illinois (58.4% outbound; 2.1% less than 2004). Other states in the Midwest also showed an outbound trend: Missouri (50.8%, but this year marked the fewest people leaving since 1995); Nebraska (50.7%, after two years of inbound migration, Nebraska saw the departure of residents) and Kansas (52.6%, continued nine-year outbound trend).
The other “high-outbound” states in this year’s study were:
California (55.7%) – 2005 marks the first time the state has seen a high outbound number since 1995.
Louisiana (57.9%) – With many difficult challenges throughout the year, the state saw 4.5% more outgoing moves after being classified as a balanced state for the past four years.
North Dakota (67.8%) – This year marked the highest outbound migration since 2001 for the state.
Michigan (63.9%) – From the inception of the study, Michigan has been an outbound state.
Walter said the United Van Lines study, through the years, has been shown to accurately reflect the general migration patterns in various regions of the country. He also noted that real estate firms, financial institutions, and other observers of relocation trends regularly use the United data in their business planning and analysis activities.
United Van Lines, with headquarters in suburban St. Louis, maintains a network of 1,000 affiliated agencies throughout the world. As the nation’s largest mover, United holds more than 30 percent of the market, which is nearly double the market share of the second largest carrier. More information about United and its services can be obtained through the company’s Web site at www.unitedvanlines.com.