Mobility is an essential part of the American lifestyle, with workers looking for employment, families seeking good neighborhoods and retirees wanting sunny weather. But as trends change and destinations rise and fall in popularity, it’s interesting to see where Americans prefer to live these days. Listings website Storagecafe analyzed the top 10 US states for both outbound and inbound migration, finding that many of the most popular moves occur between states that are not far apart and that economic factors and the weather probably influence the decision making.
Top 10 States for Inbound Migration
Florida, with its great weather and entertainment options, is the most popular destination for people moving state-to-state. Almost 590,000 people relocated there last year, with folk from New York State accounting for around 63,000 of them. Texas, another sun-blessed and tax-free state, is in second place with almost 564,000 newcomers. No fewer than 86,000 of these, that’s 15%, came from California. Not to be outdone, California itself took in over 500,000 new residents last year, with many Washingtonians making the journey south.
Proving that states on the Atlantic Seaboard also have their share of attractions, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia land 4th, 5th and 6th places respectively. Floridians, more than anybody else, swapped their state for the first two of these, while 10% of Virginia’s newcomers came from its neighbor Maryland—more than from anywhere else.
Arizona welcomed 273,000 newcomers last year, while Washington State took in 260,000, landing them 7th and 8th places, with very high percentages of people coming from California, 25% and 21% respectively. Few lists are complete without New York, but the Empire State manages only ninth here, with the largest segment of its incomers originating from neighboring New Jersey. Pennsylvania completes the top 10, having received 253,000 people from other states, once again most commonly from neighboring New Jersey—17% of the total.
Top 10 States for Outbound Migration
As can probably be guessed from what we’ve just said, California is the state which sees the most outbound migration, with more than 690,000 people leaving it for another state in 2018. The high taxes and property prices in the Golden State might just have something to do with that as people seek ways to make their dollar go further. Texas, Arizona, Washington and Nevada are Californians’ most popular states to move to, in that order.
Florida and Texas may be tax havens but they nevertheless land 2nd and 3rd places in this list, with, respectively, around 471,000 and 462,000 people leaving for another state in 2018. In 4th place is the State of New York, which has issues similar to those of California and residents who have to deal with very high costs of living. The states they most like to move to, in order of popularity, are New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania and California.
Illinois is sometimes said to be the United States in microcosm, a state with a bit of everything, but around 305,000 of its people moved to other states in 2018, perhaps indicative of the much-discussed Illinois exodus. In order of the number of people they have lost to other states, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and New Jersey complete the list, though of course in some cases inbound migration compensates for this.
The Cost of Moving
The prices for moving state-to-state vary considerably with the distance traveled, the amount that is moved and the level of service provided. United Van Lines, the largest full-service moving company in the US, provided quotes for interstate moving for this report. The least expensive jobs, based on transporting the contents of a 2-bedroom home, tend to be between neighboring states, with New Jersey to Pennsylvania and Ohio to Michigan costing somewhere between $2,300 and $2,400.
Towards the pricier end of the scale, the Storagecafe report found that a move from California to Colorado, for instance, costs between $4,000 and $4,500, twice as much as those previously mentioned. The prices for moves from California to Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Texas are nor far behind—perhaps everything that originates in the Golden State carries a higher price tag.
Outboung, inbound migration and extra costs
The prices quoted here do not include packing or insurance—and people might also like to tip generously for good service—but if the items to be moved are valuable then they are worth paying. For a sense of perspective, it should also be noted that some people end up spending upwards of $10,000 for moving the contents of a house over a long-distance.
The reasons for moving are various. Some states’ success translates into high property prices and costs of living, encouraging people to move out, while other folk simply follow the sun or go where the jobs are. One state’s loss is another’s gain, and interstate moving is straightforward with professionals on-hand to help. Although migration within the US has actually been diminishing over the last couple of decades, Americans are still much more prone to move than residents of many other countries are, suggesting that the spirit of get-up-and-go is alive and well here.