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South and West Lead in Inbound Migration

Large-scale migration is shifting economic power and strength among the states, and thousands of consumers are looking to move their homes and businesses, according to a report from National Van Lines. Whether or not to “stay or go” is one of the most important choices that individuals make. Having knowledge about migration trends may help consumers and companies make strategic and well-informed decisions about where to invest their futures.

Migration trends seen in 2020 and 2021 such as the moving industry experiencing short-term changes due to the ongoing pandemic, longer-term migration patterns are driving consumers, regulatory environments, and work-from-home opportunities.

“Understanding migration patterns benefits our customers and industry partners. It’s important to know areas of growth and decline in the United States,” said Tim Helenthal, Chairman and CEO of National Van Lines shares. “We need to get at data early to understand the beginning of trends. When considering a move, customers want to know the areas where the demand for housing, jobs and government services are high.”

Data from 2020 and 2021 shows the South and West are growing faster than the Northeast and Midwest. The South’s increase of 12.6 million was the largest of any region, and represented 54.7 percent of the national increase of 23.1 million. The West’s increase of 6.7 million people was the second-largest, followed by the Midwest and Northeast, up 1.9 and 1.8 million.

Data taken from 2019 to 2020 showed consumers looking at different areas to potentially relocate. The following areas with the most views were:

  1. Delaware: 1091%
  2. Massachusetts: 879%
  3. Oregon: 366%
  4. Kansas: 315%
  5. Idaho: 286%
  6. Illinois: 259%
  7. New York: 157%
  8. Maine: 125%
  9. North Carolina: 93%
  10. Arizona: 86%

Driven by the ongoing pandemic, people are moving from high-density areas to low-density areas. This trend didn’t start in 2020, but rapidly enhanced by the coronavirus.

Migration trends continue to help customers determine the positive or negatives about transitions to a new state. Considerations include:

  • Climate (social, political, physical)
  • Type of growth
  • Housing availability
  • Growth locations
  • Strain on social and civic services
  • Job availability
  • Tax impact
  • Infrastructure (roads, schools, government services)

The average length of customers moving is also declining. Consumers are staying close to where they are originally from, resulting in long, cross-country moves declining.

“Of all Americans who move, 90% move less than 250 miles from where they currently live. This radius continues to shrink year after year," said Mark Doyle, President of National Van Lines. "Working from home, people can move anywhere. Employers are in a position to not have to move new employees to centralized locations.”

To read the full report, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].

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