Americans packed up the moving vans and fled New Jersey and New York at a higher rate than any other state in 2020, with the U.S. migration patterns continuing to be to the West and South, according to the annual United Van Lines national migration study released Monday.
The study, which tracks moves using United Van Lines, found that Idaho was the highest percentage of inbound migration at 70 percent. New Jersey led the way for outbound traffic for the third straight year, with 70 percent leaving – followed by New York and Illinois (both at 67 percent).
“United Van Lines’ data makes it clear that migration to western and southern states, a prevalent pattern for the past several years, persisted in 2020,” said Michael A. Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “However, we’re seeing that the COVID-19 pandemic has without a doubt accelerated broader moving trends, including retirement driving top inbound regions as the Baby Boomer generation continues to reach that next phase of life.”
After Idaho, the leading inbound states were South Carolina (64 percent), Oregon (63 percent), South Dakota (62 percent) and Arizona (62 percent).
The survey found that people are retiring to Delaware, which experienced a greater percentage of inbound moves for retirement at 41 percent, followed by Florida (39 percent) and South Carolina (38.5 percent).
Meanwhile, Minnesota led the list of states where people moved for family (41 percent).
“As the largest household goods mover in the country, United Van Lines’ data-driven insights uniquely point to national trends and, this year particularly, the resounding impact of COVID-19 on moving choices and the moving industry,” said Eily Cummings, director of corporate communications at United Van Lines. “For example, as more people experience job and lifestyle changes amid the pandemic like remote working, we’re seeing they have more flexibility in where they can live – many choosing to move from urban to more rural areas.”
Hover over states on this map to see details on their inbound and outbound traffic for 2020.