Top States to Move To

Here are the top 10 places to move:

Have you been in search of the best place to move? United Van Lines’ 42nd Annual National Movers Study has your answer! In 2018, the top reasons for moving between states were new job opportunities, moving closer to family and retirement. The Southwest proved to be a popular area for retirement, while most moved to the North to be closer to family. Those searching for new adventures headed to the mountainous West away from metropolitan areas, and those searching for new job opportunities left for the Midwest. These moving reasons and the overall state-to-state migration patterns are researched and reported on in our annual National Movers Study. See below for the top 10 states people moved to and from, and more on the most popular states for relocation in 2018. *Top states people moved to:
  • Vermont (72.1%)
  • Oregon (63.8%)
  • Idaho (62.4%)
  • Nevada (61.8%)
  • Arizona (60.2%)
  • South Carolina (59.9%)
  • Washington (58.8%)
  • South Dakota (57%)
  • North Carolina (57%)
  • District of Columbia (56.7%)
*Top states people moved from:
  • New Jersey (66.8)
  • Illinois (65.9%)
  • Connecticut (62%)
  • New York (61.5%)
  • Kansas (58.7%)
  • Ohio (56.5%)
  • Massachusetts (55.7%)
  • Iowa (55.5%)
  • Montana (55%)
  • Michigan (55%)
[*Percentages are based on total moves for that state. For example, 72.1% of moves in Vermont were inbound, so 27.9% were outbound to make 100%.]

Why are these are such popular states?

We took a peek into each of the top 5 states to find out.


Vermont held firm to its first-place spot as it stayed the number one most popular state to move to in the United States (73%) in 2018. Specifically, the majority of moves to Vermont were for a company transfer or new job opportunity (34%). Vermont companies hold pride in their commitment to employees and community. They’re well-known for their progressive maternity and paternity leave policies and donations to charitable causes. Environmental sustainability is also very important to businesses in Vermont. So, if any of these benefits are of interest to you, Vermont may be the place to move. Following very close behind, retirement was the next most popular reason to move at 31%. Vermont’s cost of living is very low, which in part is due to the overall low population of the state (Alaska actually has more people!). This factor is very important to retirees who have a limited income and are looking for a state that will help stretch their money further. It’s no wonder the Green Mountain State is so inviting to movers. Between its beautiful displays of the four seasons and many lakeside communities, new Vermonters find themselves immersed in a culture that accommodates all interests, especially those involving outdoor activities.


The diverse landscapes and quirky cultures of the Pacific Northwest enticed movers in 2018 as Oregon continued to rank second nationally for moves at 64%. Of these moves, the most popular reasons people relocated to this state were for a company transfer or new job opportunity (47%) and to be closer to family (22%). Oregon was especially popular amongst older generations, with more than 40% of movers being between the ages of 55 and 74. For those looking for new jobs, it is no question why Oregon is a great place to work, as its economy is one of the fastest-growing in the country and Portland is known to be one of the most sustainable cities in the country. Forbes also ranked the state high in terms of labor supply and potential growth — probably why Nike chose Portland for its headquarters. For those looking to be closer to family, there is plenty to do for families of all ages. Oregonians love living an outdoor lifestyle, and its numerous waterfalls, lakes and mountains are enough for any family to enjoy. In addition to all that Oregon’s outdoor scenes have to offer, Portland is home to various museums, shops and quirky restaurants that you and your relatives could visit.


The Gem State ranks high for people looking for a change of pace. With its vast wilderness and limitless outdoor activities, people looking to live a slower, quieter  lifestyle find Idaho a perfect match. This year, Idaho kept its ranking as the third most popular inbound state, with inbound moves accounting for 62.4% of the total moves in state. Compared to previous years, older audiences had an increased interest in the state. The top reason people moved to Idaho in 2018 was retirement – 34% of moves to be exact, with the majority of movers to Idaho being between 55 and 74 years old. More than half of the total movers to Idaho were in this age group. Idaho is also attractive to those looking for a lifestyle change. Approximately 26% of people relocating to Idaho stated this was their reason to move. Leaving more populated states on the coasts such as Massachusetts, California and Connecticut, these movers headed to low-key Western states like Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.


The Southwest continued to appeal to movers in 2018 as Nevada remained the fourth most popular state to move to, with inbound moves taking up 61.8% of moves in the state. What attracts people most to this desert state is the Las Vegas Strip with its year-round, warm climate and plenty of activities. But, the most popular reasons for moving to Nevada in 2018 was for a new job (46%), or to retire (29%). Those looking for a new job probably found Nevada to be an ideal location as the tourism, manufacturing and aerospace industries bring many jobs to the area. Its improving economy is also a plus, as it continues to expand each quarter. Retirees can also find comfort in Nevada, as there are limitless places to explore and the climate is almost perfect. It also has no state income tax, and its low property taxes make this state ideal from a retirement perspective. Around half of movers to Nevada in 2018 were between the ages of 55 and 74, so it is clear retiring here is of high priority.


Top States to Move To - Arizona-Camelback-Mountain-at Sunrise- United Van Lines Another Southwestern state tops our list as one of 2018’s most popular destinations – Arizona. In 2018, Arizona joined the list of top 10 states for the first time (60.2%), becoming more popular than coastal states like the Carolinas or Washington, D.C. Similar to Nevada, Arizona’s climate and beautiful scenery are tempting for those looking to relocate. This year, the majority of moves to Arizona were for retirement (37%), followed by a company transfer or new job (29%). This isn’t hard to believe, as Arizona has widely developed retirement communities across the state and is a growing tech hub due to a recent influx of innovative companies. Arizona residents often spend their time hiking on Camelback Mountain, golfing in Scottsdale or shopping in Fashion Square. They live a relaxed, but active lifestyle. If you’re looking to relocate to a place with great weather, great activities and even greater people, Arizona may be the state for you. With new job opportunities, closer family connections and retirement on the horizon, people are moving from state-to-state and region-to-region looking for their next adventure. Let’s see what 2019 will bring!

In Conclusion

With new job opportunities, closer family connections and retirement on the horizon, people are moving from state-to-state and region-to-region looking for their next adventure. Let’s see what 2019 will bring!

Ready to Get Moving?