Study Ranks New York Third in Nation in Move-Outs

John Jordan | January 4, 2018

2017 Migration Map

ST. LOUIS, MI—New York State ranked third behind Illinois and New Jersey in out migration, according to a study released recently by moving company United Van Lines.

The United Van Lines’ National Movers Study stated that more Americans are moving westward, while the Northeast and Midwest continued to lose residents. In 2017, more residents moved out of Illinois than any other state with 63% of moves being outbound. Vermont had the highest percentage of inbound migration in 2017 with nearly 68% of moves to and from the state being inbound.

The report stated that 61% of the moves were out of New York State, while only 39% of the moves were to locations in New York State. A deep dive into the report indicates that reasons for moves to New York State were mainly for job reasons (58%), followed by: family 21.91%, lifestyle 9.26%, health 7.41% and retirement 7.10%. The majority of inbound individuals were between 18 years of age to 34 at 25.49% and 55 to 64 at 21.24%.

Employment was also the main reason for a move out of state, according to the study, totaling 46.58%, followed by retirement at 25.29%, family at 18.97%, lifestyle at 17.81% and health at 4.65%. The 55-and older age demographic dominates those moving out of New York State. Those 55 to 64 represented 25.59% of the move-outs of the Empire State with the 65 and older sector comprising 23.10% of the relocations.

Higher income residents also dominate move-outs of New York with 22.90% representing individuals earing between $100,000 to $149,000 and 38.94% earning $150,000 or more a year.

With the high cost of living in New York it would make sense that higher-income earners would also make up the majority of move-ins to the Empire State. The study reported that 44.10% of the inbound individuals earned $150,000 or more and another 20.52% had an income between $100,000 to $149,000.

The Mountain West continued to increase in popularity with 54% of moves being inbound. The West is represented on the high-inbound list by Oregon (65%), Idaho (63%), Nevada (61%), Washington (59%) and Colorado (56%). Of moves to Oregon, the highest-ranking western state, a new job or company transfer (49%) and proximity to family (24%) led the reasons for most inbound moves.

The southern states also saw a high number of people moving in with 52% of total moves being inbound. United Van Lines found the top reasons for moving south included company transfer/new job, retirement and proximity to family.

The Northeast continues to experience a moving deficit with New Jersey (63% outbound), New York (61%) and Connecticut (57%) making the list of top outbound states for the third consecutive year. Massachusetts (56%) also joined the top outbound list this year.

“For more than 40 years, United Van Lines has been tracking which states people are moving to and from. We also survey our customers to understand why they are moving from state-to-state,” said Melissa Sullivan, director of marketing communications at United Van Lines. “As the nation’s largest household goods mover, the data we collect is reflective of national migration trends.”

“This year’s data reflects longer-term trends of movement to the western and southern states, especially to those where housing costs are relatively lower, climates are more temperate and job growth has been at or above the national average, among other factors,” said Michael Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “We’re also seeing continued migration to the Pacific Northwest and Mountain West as young professionals and retirees leave California.”

The Mountain West was the most popular destination for retirees with one in four movers indicating they chose to move to this location for retirement. Top regions attracting movers taking new jobs included the Midwest (61%) and Pacific West (59%). The region with the largest exodus of residents due to finding jobs elsewhere was the South (61%). Across all regions, nearly one in five of those who moved in 2017 moved to be closer to family.

United Van Lines has tracked migration patterns annually on a state-by-state basis since 1977. For 2017, the study is based on household moves handled by United within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. This study ranks states based off the inbound and outbound percentages of total moves in each state.

United classifies states as “high inbound” if 55% or more of the moves are going into a state, “high outbound” if 55% or more moves were coming out of a state or “balanced” if the difference between inbound and outbound is negligible.

Moving In
The Top Inbound States of 2017 Were:

  1. Vermont
  2. Oregon
  3. Idaho
  4. Nevada
  5. South Dakota
  6. Washington
  7. South Carolina
  8. North Carolina
  9. Colorado
  10. Alabama

New to the 2017 top inbound list are Colorado at No. 9 and Alabama at No. 10 with 56% and 55% inbound moves, respectively.

Moving Out
The Top Outbound States for 2017 Were:

  1. Illinois
  2. New Jersey
  3. New York
  4. Connecticut
  5. Kansas
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Ohio
  8. Kentucky
  9. Utah
  10. Wisconsin

Illinois (63%) moved up one spot on the outbound list to No. 1, ranking in the top five for the past nine years. New Jersey previously held the top spot for five consecutive years. New additions to the 2017 top outbound list include Massachusetts (56%) and Wisconsin (55%).

Source: United Van Lines’ National Movers Study


John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth