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Current Moving Trends in The United States

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The moving industry is significantly larger than most people believe, with an annual market size of over $19 billion and 30 million people relocating in the United States alone.

We’ve selected some of the most interesting figures between 2015 and 2022 to help you understand how pervasive the moving industry is.

The economics of moving and some of the most recent developments in the field will be discussed, along with why, when, where, and how people will relocate in 2022.

Research the market that has an annual impact on millions of individuals before making any decisions.

Broad Statistics On The Moving Industry

  • In their lifetime, the typical American will change residences 11.7 times.
  • Nearly 28 million people, or 8.4% of the total U.S. population, relocated in 2021, according to the Census.
  • According to the most recent information available from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC), nearly 4.8 million Americans relocated to a different state that year.
  • While 8.4% of the population is on the move, that’s the lowest percentage since the Census Bureau began recording migration data in 1948.
  • Compared to the 1950s, today, just about half as many people relocate per year.
  • There were a lot of people giving up their surfboards and leaving California.
  • It was reported that Illinois, New York, and New Jersey were the top three states sending residents elsewhere in 2020.
  • The most common destination states for incoming movers were Idaho, Arizona, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
  • Florida, Texas, and Colorado rounded out the final spots in our top 8 inbound states.
  • Most notably, in 2020, people still relocated at almost the same rates as the previous year, despite the pandemic and perhaps because of it.

Logistics-Related Moving Trends

  • Self-moves with the use of a rent a truck: 37.5%
  • 24.1% of all moves are performed entirely by the homeowner, without the use of professional movers or equipment rentals.
  • Use a professional moving company: 22.7%
  • DIY relocation using shipping containers: 15.7%
  • Nearly 45 percent of all annual movements in the United States occur during the summer, specifically between May and August.
  • Both June 1st and 30th are quite busy for relocations, with September 1st and 30th coming in a close second.
  • In 2021, 59.17% of all movements were inside the same county, while almost 80% of movers remained within the same state (same state). Twenty-one percent of the population has relocated to a different county (same state). The percentage of people who have relocated to a new state is 17.29%. Around 2.24 percent of the population has emigrated.

Outbound Migration Is Dominated By The Northeast States

The Northeast is home to four of the seven states with the highest rates of outward migration and, more critically, none of the eight states with the highest rates of inward migration.

New York had the most outflow of residents among northeastern states, followed by New Jersey. In terms of outbound migration, we ranked fifth in the country behind only California and Maryland, both of which prevented a clean sweep by the Northeast.

Since 2015, Maryland has consistently ranked between second and fifth on our list of departure states. When we broaden our perspective, we see that Pennsylvania and Michigan have been regulars in our top ten in recent years and that this trend will likely continue through 2022.

It will be fascinating to see where these states fall in next year’s rankings as the dust continues to settle from the outbreak.

People may be departing these states for many reasons, including:

  • Some people in the Northeastern United States could feel compelled by the region’s brutal winters to go elsewhere for a place to call home.
  • A lot of people are finding the state’s persistent and extensive wildfires, in spite of the state’s generally pleasant weather, to be too much to bear.
  • Companies are hesitant to set up shops in these states, contributing to a shrinking job market and increased outmigration.
  • The rising cost of living in the Northeast and California is undoubtedly a big factor pushing people to look elsewhere for employment and housing. The cost of life, taxes and housing in these cities are too high for many people. These expenses certainly became unaffordable for many people who set 2020 as their departure year due to job losses, government shutdowns, layoffs, and the general uncertainty that covered the nation due to COVID-19.

The Midwestern States Follow Suit

States in the Midwest have been regulars in annual departures since as early as 2015. In the Midwest, Illinois stands out as the most significant state in 2018. For the past several years, migration from Illinois has ranked first.

Michigan is also noteworthy because while not being among the top 5, it has constantly ranked in the top 10. Even though the numbers aren’t always eye-popping, it’s worth noting that Michigan has experienced what appears to be a persistent trend of substantial resident losses that haven’t been matched by corresponding inward migration.

The Midwest has severe winters, just like the Northeast; however, it appears that other factors are at play here:

  • In times past, Michigan was where the American auto industry really got going. However, it appears to have been difficult to resurrect those halcyon days, with the Covid-19 pandemic further undermining attempts to reestablish the sector.
  • Public policy is a possible deterrent for residents to leave the state of Illinois. There appears to be a mass exodus from the Prairie State as residents look elsewhere for a better standard of living and more affordable living costs.

The Sunbelt Tops Inbound Moves

There has been a steady increase in the number of incoming migrations from the southern states over the past few years. The population of the southeastern, southern, and southwestern states kept rising as immigration outpaced emigration.

Arizona and South Carolina have been among the top five incoming states every year since 2015, and they ranked second and fourth this year. A state that has consistently been a magnet for Americans on the move is North Carolina, which has maintained its position as the fifth most popular destination for new arrivals. This year, Tennessee soared from fifth to third on the list.

Florida and Texas are longtime powerhouses, having spent the past years in the top 12. Despite the exceptional circumstances of 2020, this trend persisted, with Florida taking the sixth spot and Texas maintaining its fortunate seventh position.

Georgia is one southern state that continued to decline. Even if the peachy state has been among our top eight in previous years, it has not been since 2018, and that trend will continue through 2020. Despite this, the South as a whole has shown to be a stable destination for transient Americans, and we don’t expect this to change anytime soon.

Many factors propelling people from the Northeast and California to the South are diametrically opposed to one another. These include the following:

  • Recent years have seen a trend of southern states seeing an influx of new people as a result of the region’s plenty of work prospects brought about by the establishment or relocation of numerous businesses. As a result, southern states may have been better prepared for the pandemic and have built up a larger number of jobs that are less vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19 over time. It’s possible that this, together with fewer regulations, is what’s behind the South’s low unemployment rates and its continued population boom.
  • The south might be around for a while because of the low taxes. Texas, Florida, and Tennessee consistently rank as the top inbound migration states, and all three have no state income tax. Arizona ranks second, South Carolina ranks fourth, and North Carolina ranks fifth, all with low state income taxes below 7%.
  • The weather could be a contributing element. People may be drawn to warmer climates, as seen by the population decline in many northern states and the steady rise in many southern states.
  • Residents in the south also benefit from increased open space. Many people, both before and during a pandemic, place a high value on being able to afford a larger house or lot than they might be able to elsewhere.

Some Western States Still Have Some Pull

When we look at the data collected over the years, we discover that states in the West continually see an influx of new residents. While most western states saw little change, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington fell off the inbound migration list this year.

On the other hand, Idaho and Colorado in the western United States are the two states that have the highest annual growth rates in terms of population. Over the years, Colorado’s share of inbound migration has steadily increased. Colorado is ranked #8 on the list of new arrivals this year.

While Colorado has consistently ranked among the top 25 receiving states, Idaho has consistently ranked in the top 10. Inbound movers have consistently placed Idaho at the top of their lists in recent years, and that trend continued in 2021.

I’m confused as to why Idaho was chosen. Listed below are some of the most common arguments given by visitors:

  • In addition to being one of the West’s most rapidly expanding states, Idaho is also one of the least expensive.
  • Idaho’s slower pace is another reason why the state has become so popular.
  • The state of Idaho is making an effort to woo tech workers from California. In recent months, Californians have accounted for roughly 90% of all non-local online views of Boise listings.

Every year since 2017, California has been one of the top five departure states. While California’s ranking among the top five states in terms of population loss has changed over time, it is clear that it is losing citizens at an alarming rate despite its large population.

It appears that the outrageous expense of living and sky-high housing prices in California’s big cities are mostly to blame. In San Francisco, where a family of four is regarded to be living in poverty with a yearly income of over $100,000, there was a net +30% increase in outbound migrations compared to incoming moves this year.

High unemployment rates, fewer hours, and future economic uncertainty may have been too much for some to handle, especially in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and record-setting wildfires in the state. In reality, the pandemic proved to be both a catalyst and an opportunity for many California white-collar professionals as businesses shifted to long-term, remote-first working arrangements for their teams.

Many workers, especially in the IT industry, have leaped at the chance to move to an area with a lower cost of living while keeping their current income, and many of the companies that employ them have followed suit.