2011 United Van Lines Migration Study

Northeast exceeds Great Lakes Region to lead the nation in outbound migration, according to the 2011 United Van Lines Migration Study.

Jan 2, 2012 – ST. LOUIS – The Northeastern portion of the United States is leading the nation in outbound migration- a designation held by the Great Lakes region for the past several years. Washington, D.C., continues to be the nation’s most popular destination. The findings are among the results of United Van Lines’ 35th annual “migration” study, which tracks where its customers move from and the most popular destinations during the course of the year. The findings for the full year 2011, were announced today by Carl Walter, vice president of United Van Lines, the nation’s largest household goods mover. United has tracked migration patterns annually on a state-by-state basis since 1977. For 2011, the study is based on the more than 146,000 interstate household moves handled by United among the 48 contiguous states and Washington D.C. United classifies the states as “high inbound” (55% or more of the moves going into a state), “high outbound” (55% or more moves coming out of a state) or “balanced.”

Moving In

In 2011, the District of Columbia (62.5%) was once again the top destination in the United States for the fourth consecutive year. Two southern states, North Carolina (56.4%) and Florida (55.1%) also had a high percentage of inbound migration. The Western United States is also represented on the high-inbound list with Oregon (60.8%) and Nevada (56.9%) both making the list. Oregon is number two for inbound migration for the second year in a row. Nevada returned to the high inbound traffic list in 2011 after being considered a balanced state in 2010.

Moving Out

Illinois (60.8%) captured the top spot on the high-outbound traffic list. New Jersey (60.5%) was a close second. New Jersey claimed the top spot for high-outbound migration in 2010. Illinois was No. 5 on the list in 2010. The Northeast is the most well-represented region on the high-outbound traffic list. In addition to New Jersey, New York (58.3%), Rhode Island (56.3%), New Hampshire (56.1%), Connecticut (55.8%) and Maine (55.8%) are also included. Michigan (58.0%) was the only other Great Lakes state on the list. It moved from the No. 3 spot on the high-outbound list in 2010 to No. 4 in 2011. It had claimed the top outbound spot every year from 2006-2009. West Virginia (56.7%) was the only Southern state to appear on the list. North Dakota (55.7%) was the only Western state to appear on the list.


Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania all had high-outbound traffic in 2010. Traffic in those states has leveled, and all three appear on the balanced list for 2011. South Carolina appeared on the 2010 high-inbound list, but is considered balanced in 2011. Several states were almost perfectly balanced gaining approximately the same number of residents as those that left. Those states include Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Virginia and Mississippi in the South and Maryland in the East. Walter said the United Van Lines’ study has been shown through the years to accurately reflect general migration patterns in various regions of the country. He also noted that financial institutions, real estate firms and other professionals who regularly observe relocation trends use United’s data in business planning and economic analysis. Infographic data

About United

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.

Editors Note:

Attached, for your reference, is a listing of total shipments by United Van Lines in each state, including a breakdown of inbound and outbound shipments by number percentage as well as a map showing migration trends for each state. If you are interested in specific information for your area, please contact Melissa Sullivan at 636-349-2508 or melissa_sullivan@unigroupinc.com.


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