United Van Lines 2012 Migration Study Reveals Northeastern U.S. Exodus

Washington D.C. the Most Popular Destination During the Election Year

Jan 1, 2013 – ST. LOUIS – The Northeast region leads the United States in outbound migration, according to the results of United Van Lines’ 36th annual “migration” study, which tracks which states the company’s customers move to and from during the course of the year. Washington, D.C., continues to lead the nation in inbound moves based on the study findings released today, which analyzed moves from the full year 2012.

“As the nation’s largest household goods mover, United’s data is an accurate reflection of the overall U.S. moving trends,” explained Carl Walter, vice president of United Van Lines. “Tracking the number of inbound and outbound domestic moves helps provide insight into overall migration trends.”

United has tracked migration patterns annually on a state-by-state basis since 1977. For 2012, the study is based on all 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 and “high outbound” if 55 percent or more moves were coming out of a state or “balanced” if the difference of inbound and outbound is negligible.

Moving In

The top-five inbound states of 2012 were:

  • District of Columbia
  • Oregon
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina

This is the fifth consecutive year the District of Columbia (64 percent) was the top moving destination in the United States.

The Western United States is also represented on the high-inbound list with Oregon (61 percent) and Nevada (58 percent) both making the list. Oregon is number two for inbound migration for the third year in a row. Nevada returned to the high inbound traffic for the second consecutive year.

The Carolinas each made the top five with North Carolina at 56 percent and South Carolina at 55 percent inbound moves.

“The United Van Lines Annual Migration study shows the movement of people from frost belt to more sun belt states in the South and West,” said Michael Stoll, economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “While big states such as California, Texas and Florida have more total moves than other states because of their sheer size, other high inbound states such as Washington, D.C., Oregon and the Carolinas may be attractive places to move because of their lower housing costs, more temperate climate, diversified and growing economies, as well as maturing manufacturing bases and high technology clusters.”

Moving Out

The top-five outbound states for 2012 were:

  • New Jersey
  • Illinois
  • West Virginia
  • New York
  • New Mexico

New Jersey (62 percent) displaced the outbound leader from last year, Illinois (60 percent) reclaiming the top spot for high-outbound migration that it held in 2010.

The Northeast is the most well-represented region on the high-outbound traffic list. In addition to New Jersey, New York (58 percent), Maine (56 percent) and Connecticut (56 percent) are also included.

Michigan (58 percent) and Wisconsin (55 percent) along with Illinois represented the Great Lakes region. Michigan fell to the No. 6 from the No. 4 spot it held in 2011. Previously, it had claimed the top outbound spot every year from 2006-2009.

Kentucky (55 percent) joined West Virginia (58 percent) as the only Southern states to appear on the high outbound list. New Mexico (58 percent) was the only Western state to appear on the list.

Balanced

Several states gained approximately the same number of residents as those that left. Those states include Louisiana, Iowa, Indiana, North Dakota, New Hampshire and Maryland.

Click map for an enlarged image

About United Van Lines

United Van Lines is America’s #1 Mover®. In cooperation with its sister company United Containers, United Van Lines is able to offer a full range of moving solutions from do-it-yourself to full-service. With headquarters in suburban St. Louis, United Van Lines maintains a network of 400 affiliated agencies. For more information about United Van Lines and United Containers, visit: UnitedVanLines.com.

Editors Note:

Attached, for your reference, is a map showing migration trends for each state. If you are interested in specific information for your area, please contact Melissa Sullivan at melissa_sullivan@unigroupinc.com.

MEDIA INQUIRY:

For more information on United or if you are a member of the press and have questions/comments, please email our Director of Communications: Eily_Cummings@unigroup.com

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