Ready for Work: 18 to 34-Year-Olds Chose to Move North and East in 2019

Recently, we reported on migration patterns in 2019 with our annual United Van Lines National Movers Study.
In this article, we discuss last year’s migration of 18-34-year-olds, and why jobs are the top reason for making the North and the East Coast popular among this group of people. According to our National Movers Study, the top destinations in 2019 for 18-34-year-olds were*:
  1. Washington, D.C. (33.3%)
  2. North Dakota (29.2%)
  3. Minnesota (27.0%)
  4. Illinois (25.8%)
  5. Rhode Island (24.2%)
  6. New York (22.8%)
  7. Massachusetts (22.8%)
  8. Washington (22.5%)
  9. Louisiana (22.3%)
  10. Pennsylvania (21.6%)
*Numbers represent the percentage of 18-34-year-olds that were among shipments made to that state/location. For example, of the 589 shipments that moved to the District of Columbia, 33.3% of those were movers aged 18-34. For comparison, the study revealed that top 10 overall locations/states for people of all ages moved to were**:
  1. Idaho (67.4%)
  2. Oregon (65.7%)
  3. Arizona (63.2%)
  4. South Carolina (61.8%)
  5. Washington (59.5%)
  6. District of Columbia (59.3%)
  7. Florida (58.1%)
  8. South Dakota (57.4%)
  9. North Carolina (57.3%)
  10. New Mexico (56.1%)
**Percentages are based on total moves for that state. For example, 67.4% of moves in Idaho were inbound, so 32.6% were outbound to make 100%. As you can see, there is little overlap with the two lists. In fact, only D.C. and Washington state are included in both top 10 lists. Interestingly, several destinations that were popular for the 18-34 age demographic were actually listed among the top states people overall moved away from in 2019. This includes Illinois, New York and North Dakota. There are many reasons why a person or family may choose to relocate. In 2019, the top reasons for all moves were:
  1. For a new job or company transfer (48%)
  2. To be closer to family (23.7%)
  3. For retirement (20.1%)
Since most 18-34-year-olds are at the beginning of their working careers, it makes sense that this group moves much more often for a new job or company transfer. In fact, this percentage jumps up to 61.9% among this age range. Moving to be closer to family only increases with this group slightly at 23.9%. So, what is it about the above locations that are so attractive for this age group? Let’s take a closer look. Washington D.C. It is no surprise that the nation’s capital is a popular destination for people aged 18-34 when it comes to relocating for work. Of all shipments to D.C. (among all age groups), a whopping 78% said they moved there for a new job or company transfer. Besides being a hub for careers in politics and government, this area’s other popular industries include hospitality, professional services, innovation, data science and analytics, technology, retail and security technology. It’s also known for above average compensation and fulfills this age group’s renewed desires for city living. For those willing to put in the time and effort, there seems to be quite a lot of opportunities for a rewarding career. Minnesota The Bread and Butter State, better known as Minnesota, was also a popular state among 18-34-year-olds when moving for work. Top industries in Minnesota include agriculture, healthcare, technology, finance and business. With Fortune 500 companies like UnitedHealth Group, Target, Best Buy and General Mills calling Minnesota home, you can easily see why it’s so popular for vocational changes. Of course, the beautiful mountain scenery and more than 10,000 lakes can’t hurt either. Rhode Island It was less than five years ago that GQ called Providence, Rhode Island the coolest city in the U.S. because of its celebrated food scene, and its appeal to younger people. It also benefits from its close proximity to Boston and New York, and its access to highly valued academic institutions. Top industries in Rhode Island include healthcare (which grew rapidly from 2000 to 2010), tourism, manufacturing, financial services (their top industry) and education. With a cool culture, affordability and various booming industries, it’s easy to see the appeal of the smallest U.S. state. Massachusetts Massachusetts is home to 16 Fortune 500 companies including GE, Liberty Mutual, TJX, Biogen and Raytheon, making this state quite popular for the workforce. Massachusetts is also considered a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance and maritime trade. Of course, it’s also home to the city of Boston, which boasts some of the largest companies and best research universities in the country, certainly attracting some of the most talented and brightest young workers. Louisiana Louisiana is not only a melting pot of cultures but also of industries. The state flourishes with its highly motivated workforce, infrastructure and logistics, pro-business climate and recruitment and training programs. Key industries include energy, advanced manufacturing, software development and water management, reflected in some of the state’s largest companies such as CenturyLink, Entergy, Turner Industries and Odyssea Marine. Add in the semi-tropical climate, rich history and engaging nightlife—and you’ve got a recipe for attracting plenty of young talent. As 2020 gets underway, stay tuned to see how migration patterns ebb and flow in next year’s United Van Lines’ National Movers Study. For more migration information be sure to check out Jobs, Taxes, Cost of Living – Why Many Californians are Purchasing One-Way Tickets to Texas RESEARCH FOR THIS ARTICLE

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