Annual 2019 United Van Lines National Movers Study

Where did Americans move to and from in 2019? Read our Annual National Movers Study and check out our interactive map here. For media inquiries, please email and click the button below to download our 2019 Annual Movers Study Press Kit.


2019 National Movers Study Reveals Idaho as a Top Moving Destination

Baby Boomer Generation Drives American Migration Patterns as Western and Southern State See Highest Inbound Moves

Interactive Map: To understand inbound and outbound percentages for each state, use the legend. To view reasons for moving and demographic data, select the year and state that you would like to view using the dropdown menus. (If you are using a desktop computer, you can use your mouse to click and select a state.) Please note that percentages pertaining to demographic data may not always total 100% due to respondents having the ability to opt out of answering survey questions and/or to select more than one survey response per question.

ST. LOUIS – Jan. 2, 2020 – Americans are moving into Idaho, and Idaho is moving up—in the ranking of most popular 2019 moving destinations, that is.

According to the results of United Van Lines’ 43rd Annual National Movers Study, which tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns over the past year, Idaho saw the highest percentage of inbound migration among states experiencing more than 250 moves* with United Van Lines: 67.4 percent. This is Idaho’s first time leading the list of inbound states in more than 25 years. However, for the second consecutive year, the study found that more residents moved out of New Jersey than any other state, as 68.5 percent of New Jersey moves were outbound.

The study and its accompanying survey—released today—also revealed that more Baby Boomer generation Americans moved than any other age group last year, as those aged 55-74 years old accounted for more than 45 percent of all inbound United Van Lines moves in 2019.

Oregon, at 65.7 percent inbound, followed Idaho as the second most popular moving destination nationally, experiencing more than 2,800 total moves. States in the Mountain West and Pacific West regions, including Arizona (63.2 percent), Washington (59.5 percent) and New Mexico (43.9 percent), continued to see high percentages of inbound moves. Each of these states ranked among the top inbound states in the study’s 2019 data.

In the Southeastern region of the United States, several states—including South Carolina (61.8 percent) and North Carolina (57.3 percent)—were popular moving destinations in 2019. The study revealed that major reasons for moving south were retirement (24 percent) and job change (46 percent). Following this trend, Florida (58.1 percent) joined the list of top 10 inbound states for the first time since 2015, ranking seventh. Among all states, more residents flocked to Florida for retirement (40.5 percent) and for lifestyle change (22.97 percent) than any other state.

“Key factors like the Baby Boomer generation re-locating upon reaching retirement age as well as states’ economic performances and housing costs drove these 2019 moving patterns,” said Michael A. Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “United Van Lines’ study encompasses data consistent with the broader migration trends to western and southern regions that we’ve been seeing for several years now.”

Each year, United Van Lines’ National Movers Study reveals the business data of inbound and outbound moves on a state-by-state basis. Alongside the study, United Van Lines conducts a survey to examine the reasons and motivations behind these migration patterns. The 2019 survey revealed that, across all regions, a major driver of migration is a career change, as approximately one out every two people who moved with United Van Lines in the past year moved for a new job or company transfer. In 2019, Washington, D.C. saw the largest influx of residents due to a new job/company transfer at 78 percent.

An exodus persists among Northeastern states, as New Jersey (68.5 percent), New York (63.1 percent) and Connecticut (63 percent) were all included among the top 10 outbound states for the fifth consecutive year. Primary reasons cited for leaving the Northeast were retirement (26.85 percent) and new job/company transfer (40.12 percent).

Midwestern states including Illinois (66.5 percent), Kansas (58.5 percent), Ohio (57.8 percent), Michigan (56.9 percent) and Iowa (55 percent), all returned to the list of top 10 outbound states in 2019. According to the survey results, the exodus from the Midwest was primarily due to a desire to retire elsewhere (22.8 percent) and for a new job/company transfer (51 percent).

“United Van Lines, as the nation’s largest household goods mover, is uniquely able to identify the year’s most and least popular moving destinations for Americans through our annual National Movers Study,” said Eily Cummings, director of corporate communications at United Van Lines. “For more than 40 years now, this study and survey offers year-over-year insights into where and why Americans are moving.”


Moving In

The top inbound states (with 250 moves or more) of 2019 were:

  1. Idaho
  2. Oregon
  3. Arizona
  4. South Carolina
  5. Washington
  6. District of Columbia
  7. Florida
  8. South Dakota
  9. North Carolina
  10. New Mexico

New to the 2019 top inbound list is Florida at No. 7, with an inbound percentage of 58.1.

Moving Out

The top outbound states for 2019 were:

  1. New Jersey
  2. Illinois
  3. New York
  4. Connecticut
  5. Kansas
  6. Ohio
  7. California
  8. Michigan
  9. North Dakota
  10. Iowa

While New Jersey (68.5 percent) has ranked among the top 10 outbound states for the past 11 years, California (43.1 percent) was new to the top 10 outbound in 2019. Of those who left California in 2019, nearly 2 out of 5 (39.02 percent) cited a new job/company transfer as their reason for moving.


Several states saw nearly the same number of residents moving inbound as outbound. Maine and Oklahoma are among these “balanced states.”

*Although Vermont experienced the highest percentage of inbound moves overall, United Van Lines moved fewer than 250 families in and out of the state. The inbound and outbound rankings in this year’s study only reflect states with 250 moves or more.

Since 1977, United Van Lines has annually tracked migration patterns on a state-by-state basis. The 2019 study is based on household moves handled by United within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. and ranks states based off the inbound and outbound percentages of total moves in each state. United classifies states as “high inbound” if 55 percent or more of the moves are going into a state, “high outbound” if 55 percent or more moves were coming out of a state or “balanced” if the difference between inbound and outbound is negligible.

To view the entire 2019 study, an interactive map and archived press releases and photos from United, please visit the United Van Lines website.


Click here for our blog post on the top ten states to move to!

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:

Press Kit:

United Van Lines 2019 National Movers Study Press Release, Map and Data – Download Now

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Past Annual Movers Studies

  • United moving truck on a rural road with trees and rolling hills in the background

    2018 United Van Lines National Movers Study

    View the results of United Van Lines’ 2018 Annual National Movers Study.
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  • Small United Van Lines Moving Truck on a bridge in Amsterdam

    2017 United Van Lines National Movers Study

    View the results of United Van Lines’ 2017 Annual National Movers Study.
    Continue Reading
  • United Van Lines Moving Truck on Dallas Divide rural highway

    2016 United Van Lines National Movers Study

    View the results of United Van Lines’ 2016 Annual National Movers Study.
    Continue Reading
Car Shipping - Unted truck driving on a rural highway with trees and mountains in the distance - United Van Lines

What are the top states moved to and from in 2019 and what are the top reasons for moving?

Check out our blog post here to see the top inbound and outbound states according to United’s annual National Movers Study for 2019. Some of the results might surprise you! Not only do we breakdown the top states, we take a closer look at the top five states that people moved to this past year, as well as why people moved in 2019.

See our blog post now

People Moving From California are Choosing Texas as Their Top Destination

One of the most interesting trends from the 2019 United Van Lines’ National Movers Study and reports throughout the year is the hefty migration that’s happening between California and Texas. In 2019, of people who moved out of California, 7% of movers relocated to Texas. Based on some reports, over the last 10 years, nearly one million people have transplanted from California, into Texas.

See our blog post now

Where Are Generation X and Millennials Moving in 2019?

In this blog post, 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, included Washington D.C., North Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois and Rhode Island. *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.

See our blog post now