Latest U.S. Migration Data Shows California may be Returning to "Golden" State Status; Northwest Picture Grows Dimmer While Southeast Gains Momentum

February 1, 1998

EVANSVILLE, (Ind.) -- Living in California may be "Golden" after all. What was, just a few years ago, known as the great California exodus is slowly turning into the California comeback. An outbound state since 1991, this is the second year in a row California has had more people move in than out. In fact, during 1997 the Golden State had a 19-percent increase in inbound traffic over 1996, representing the greatest amount of traffic into the state since 1991.

Some of California's neighbors aren't faring as well. Arizona and much of the Northwest are experiencing a slow but steady decline in the number of shipments locating to the area. Wyoming and Utah saw more people flee the state than arrive last year. Utah, which has traditionally been an inbound state, had 40-percent more outbound shipments than inbound, marking the first time the state has been outbound. Wyoming had 48-percent more outbound shipments in 1997 than 1996, a 36 percentage point jump over the previous year.

Overall, migration data released today by Atlas Van Lines, the nation's fourth largest carrier of household goods, seems to indicate stability across much of the country.

"Migration patterns generally coincide with what's happening in the economy," says Steve Mumma, Atlas Van Lines senior vice president, marketing and public relations. "The economy has gradually gotten stronger over the past few years. As a result, we're not seeing as many drastic shifts in migration from one region to another. While there are always exceptions, the overall traffic patterns mirror last year's trends, which also indicated nationwide stability."

Atlas Van Lines migration data shows inbound and outbound traffic trends for every state in the U.S. The data tracks traffic flow into and out of regions throughout North America. The information is based on 90,305 household goods shipments for 1997.

Much of the South and Southeast enjoyed an influx of traffic during 1997. South Carolina, a balanced state in 1996, had a 26-percent increase in inbound shipments,

making the state an inbound destination. North Carolina (56-percent more inbound than outbound shipments) and Virginia (57-percent more inbound than outbound) also continue to attract newcomers.

A little farther South, the migration picture is also brighter. Mississippi remains an outbound state, but traffic into Louisiana picked up. Louisiana had a 31-percent increase in inbound traffic during 1997 versus 1996. The rest of the region remained fairly stable, with Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas all considered balanced states.

Alaska rebounded from last year's mass departure. The state had 56-percent more inbound than outbound traffic in 1997. The previous year, traffic patterns were outbound, with 55-percent more outbound than inbound shipments.

The Atlas traffic flow data does not include the number of people relocating by do-it-yourself means. However, it serves as an indicator of individual and corporate inclination to relocate to stronger economic areas. The numbers in the Atlas chart also account for only those household goods shipments that moved from one state to another, or interstate moves.

The map shows how many households Atlas moved in and out of each state during 1996. The top number indicates outgoing shipments, and the bottom number represents incoming shipments. States that are lightly shaded show areas where inbound and outbound moves were nearly equal. The map is available by calling Jim Huth, Atlas Van Lines director of corporate communications, 812-421-7183. Results will also be posted on the Atlas Web site:

With world headquarters in Evansville, Ind., Atlas Van Lines is a major transporter of household goods and special products through some 600 agents across the U.S. and Canada, and over 800 worldwide.

For local comment on the latest migration patterns, contact the following Atlas Van Lines agent:

Thomas Hoover
ABC Moving & Storage Co., Inc.
Chesterfield, Missouri
(314) 532-1300

Reginald Lammers
Ace Relocation Systems
San Diego, Calif.
(619) 677-5500

Donald Hill
Alexander's Moving & Storage
Tustin, Calif.
(714) 731-1658

Ted Alger
Atlantic Relocation Systems
Atlanta, Georgia
(404) 351-5311

Todd Winter
Golden Van Lines, Inc.
Longmont, Colorado
(303) 776-3882

John Westerberg
Nelson Westerberg
Elk Grove, Illinois
(847) 437-7050

Buddy Mayfield
Mayfield Van Lines & Warehouse, Inc.
Lubbock, Texas
(806) 747-4211

Frederick Paxton
Paxton Van Lines
Springfield, Virginia
(703) 321-7600

David Bueker
McCormack-Payton Storage & Moving Company
Kansas City, Missouri
(816) 444-8854

Frank Webers
Collins Brothers Moving Corp.
Larchmont, NY
(914) 834-0048

Joseph McNamara
Certified Van Service, Inc.
Islandia, NY
(516) 234-6700