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Utah Experiencing Outbound Migration

Press Release

January 3, 2014

More Utah residents are moving out to other states than moving in to Utah, according to the 2013 National Migration Study by United Van Lines. In 2013, 58 percent of moves were out of Utah while only 42 percent of moves were inbound to Utah.

At the national level, the data shows a migration from the Northeast (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts), to states including the Carolinas, Oregon and Nevada.

“As the nation’s largest household goods mover, United’s shipment data illustrates national state-to-state migration trends,” said Carl Walter, vice president of United Van Lines. “We’ve been tracking the number of inbound and outbound domestic moves for nearly 40 years, and through our study are able to identify the states that are attracting or losing residents.”

The top nine “outbound” states for 2013:

New Jersey
New York
West Virginia
New Mexico

The study found that Oregon is the top moving destination of 2013, with 61 percent of moves to the state inbound ones. The District of Columbia (57 percent inbound) fell to the No. 5 position on the inbound list after five consecutive years as the top moving destination. New additions to the 2013 top inbound list include South Dakota (57 percent), Texas (56 percent) and Colorado (55 percent).

The top inbound states of 2013 were:

South Carolina
North Carolina
District of Columbia
South Dakota

“Business incentives, industrial growth and relatively lower costs of living are attracting jobs and people to the Southeastern and Western states such as South Dakota, Colorado and Texas,” said Michael Stoll, economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “We’re also seeing continued migration to the Pacific Northwest as young professionals and retirees are drawn to amenities including public transit, green space and the local arts and entertainment scene.”

United has tracked migration patterns annually on a state-by-state basis since 1977. For 2013, the study is based on household moves handled by United within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.

The Western United States is represented on the high-inbound list by Oregon (61 percent) and Nevada (56 percent). Nevada remained on the high inbound list for the third consecutive year. 

New Jersey (64 percent) continued to top the high outbound list claiming the top spot for three out of the past four years. Illinois (61 percent) held steady at the No. 2 spot after falling from the top spot in 2011. 

The Northeast is the most prominent region on the high-outbound traffic list. In addition to New Jersey, New York (61 percent), Connecticut (59 percent) and Massachusetts (56 percent) are also included.

Kentucky (56 percent) joined West Virginia (60 percent) as the only Southern states to appear on the high outbound list. New Mexico (55 percent) and Utah (58 percent) represented the Western United States on the list.

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