Report ranks Idaho as nation’s #1 moving destination

Posted at 12:09 PM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-02 14:09:48-05

ST. LOUIS, Missouri — People from all over country are still moving into Idaho -– so much so, the Gem State was ranked as the nation’s most popular 2019 moving destination, according to the United Van Lines’ 43rd Annual National Movers Study.

The study, which tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns over the past year, shows Idaho saw the highest percentage of inbound migration among states experiencing more than 250 moves with United Van Lines – namely, 67.4 percent.

“This is Idaho’s first time leading the list of inbound states in more than 25 years,” according to a United Van Lines news release.

On the flip side, for the second consecutive year, the study found that more residents moved OUT of New Jersey than any other state, about 68.5 percent.

The study and its accompanying survey -- released Thursday --also revealed that more Baby Boomer generation Americans moved than any other age group last year, as those aged 55-74 years old accounted for more than 45 percent of all inbound United Van Lines moves in 2019.

Oregon, at 65.7 percent inbound, followed Idaho as the second most popular moving destination nationally, experiencing more than 2,800 total moves.

States in the Mountain West and Pacific West regions, including Arizona (63.2 percent), Washington (59.5 percent) and New Mexico (43.9 percent), continued to see high percentages of inbound moves. Each of these states ranked among the top inbound states in the study’s 2019 data.

In the Southeastern region of the United States, several states -- including South Carolina (61.8 percent) and North Carolina (57.3 percent) -- were popular moving destinations in 2019. The study revealed that major reasons for moving south were retirement (24 percent) and job change (46 percent).

Following this trend, Florida (58.1 percent) joined the list of top 10 inbound states for the first time since 2015, ranking seventh. Among all states, more residents flocked to Florida for retirement (40.5 percent) and for lifestyle change (22.97 percent) than any other state.

“Key factors like the Baby Boomer generation re-locating upon reaching retirement age as well as states’ economic performances and housing costs drove these 2019 moving patterns,” said Michael Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “United Van Lines’ study encompasses data consistent with the broader migration trends to western and southern regions that we’ve been seeing for several years now.”

Each year, United Van Lines’ National Movers Study reveals the business data of inbound and outbound moves on a state-by-state basis. Alongside the study, United Van Lines conducts a survey to examine the reasons and motivations behind these migration patterns. The 2019 survey revealed that, across all regions, a major driver of migration is a career change, as approximately one out every two people who moved with United Van Lines in the past year moved for a new job or company transfer.

In 2019, Washington, D.C. saw the largest influx of residents due to a new job/company transfer at 78 percent.

The Top 10 inbound states of 2019 were:

1. Idaho
2. Oregon
3. Arizona
4. South Carolina
5. Washington
6. District of Columbia
7. Florida
8. South Dakota
9. North Carolina
10.New Mexico

United Van Lines has been tracking annual migration patterns on a state-by-state basis since 1977.