Curious about what states Americans have been moving to? For 37 years, United Van Lines has been tracking what states people are moving to — and from — using it as a measurement of migration. The company classifies states as either “high inbound,” or “high outbound.” To qualify for either, 55 percent of moves need to be going in or out of the state.
“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 following are the eight states identified by United Van Lines as being high inbound in 2013.
With 55 percent inbound, Colorado met the minimum level for high inbound in 2013. The Centennial State is one of three new additions to the list. The population estimate for 2012 was 5.18 million people, a 3.1 percent increase from 2010. Between 2008 and 2012, the median value of owner-occupied homes was $236,800, well above the national average of $181,400. The state has five cities in the top 100 of Forbes’ “Best Places for Businesses and Careers,” including Denver, and Fort Collins in the top 10. The tourism office reports that there are more microbreweries per capita in Colorado than in any other state.
Texas was another newcomer to to the list, with a 56 percent inbound rate. Texas has 5 cities in the top 25 of “Best Places for Businesses and Careers.” San Antonio came in first of the five, at number 11. Forbes explained that the business friendly nature there, and in the rest of the Lone Star state was driving migration.
“Business incentives, industrial growth, and relatively lower costs of living are attracting jobs and people to the Southeastern and Western states,” economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles Michael Stoll explained in the United Van Lines press release.
This was Nevada’s third year in a row on the list. At 56 percent for inbound moves, the state is tied with Texas in 2013. Travel Nevada breaks the state into six parts, meaning you could live in: Cowboy Country; Indian Territory; Las Vegas Territory; Nevada Silver Trails; Pony Express Territory; or Reno-Tahoe Territory.
The state is known both for cities with thriving nightlife — most notably in Las Vegas — and outdoors adventures — such as in Lake Tahoe. There are about 70 recreation areas, including Death Valley National Park. The population in Nevada has expanded by an estimated 2.2 percent since 2010, and is about 2.75 million people.
5. South Dakota
A 57 percent inbound rate brought South Dakota to the list for the first time. The Census Bureau estimates the population for the state to be 833,354, up 2.4 percent since 2010. The state boasts a variety of landscapes, including farmland, lakes, mountains, and the Badlands. Tourism is important for the state, being its second largest industry. In 2006, $865 million was spent by tourists throughout the state. The largest industry is agriculture. Hay, sunflowers, rye, honey, soybeans, corn, wheat, and cattle are the top products of South Dakota.
5. Washington, D.C.
After five consecutive years as the list-leader, the District of Columbia tumbled to tie South Dakota at 57 percent. The average rental price according to Realtor.com is $2,751 per month, and home prices average $469 per square foot in the nation’s capital.
The District was third on Bloomberg’s “America’s 50 Best Cities” list. The high ranking was attributed to the city’s parks and neighborhoods. Additionally, arts and culture provided by the Smithsonian, the Kennedy Center, and other museums and theaters helped push the city up in the rankings.
3. North Carolina
North Carolina has been a staple of the inbound list, having made an appearance every year since 1993. This year, an inbound rate of 58 percent gave it the third place finish. Approximately 9.75 million people live in North Carolina, an increase of 2.3 percent since the 2010 census.
People moving to the state can enjoy the mountains in the West, or the beaches along the East coast. Residents in Raleigh can take advantage of arts and culture opportunities, while Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S.
2. South Carolina
Beating its neighbor to the North by two points, South Carolina is the runner up with 60 percent. South Carolina has been a favorite on the list for many years, being featured in 16 of the last 18. Between 2010 and 2012, the population increased 2.1 percent, and more than 4.7 million people call South Carolina home.
South Carolina is one of the top travel destinations on the East Coast, and the state has over 100 golf courses. An association with golf dates back to the 1700s. “Charleston welcomed a shipment of golf balls and clubs from Scotland as early as 1743,” The History Channel explains. “On September 29, 1786, the South Carolina Golf Club was formed and, within the same year, America’s first golf course was established on Harleston Green.”
Oregon was the most popular state, with 61 percent of moves inbound. Stoll placed moving to Oregon in a larger context. Stoll explained there is a trend of “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.”
Oregon has a population just shy of 3.9 million, up 1.8 percent since 2010. The median value of owner-occupied homes in Oregon is $246,100, and the homeownership rate between 2008 and 2012 was 62.5 percent.