2017 Migration Patterns
Based on 72,986 Interstate and Cross-Border Household Goods Relocations from January 1, 2017 through December 15, 2017.
(Click on individual state/province for 10-year historical data.)
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Where is America Moving?
In 2017, 11 U.S. states registered a change in migration status over 2016 results. The study also found that 23 states registered as balanced—meaning that moves in and out of the states were roughly equal—17 as outbound, and 10 as inbound, including Washington, D.C. The data showed an overall decrease in moves in 2017. Atlas has conducted the Migration Patterns study since 1993 to track the nation’s interstate (between states) and cross-border (U.S. to Canada) moving patterns annually as reflected in moves handled by Atlas.
The 10 U.S. states with the highest percentage of inbound moves and outbound moves are included in order below, and Idaho is the study’s inbound leader for a second year in a row. While Illinois has classified as outbound since 2009, the state has the highest percentage of outbound moves in the country in 2017.
- Idaho (65.1 percent)
- Washington (62.5 percent)
- Nevada (62.4 percent)
- Tennessee (60.6 percent)
- Alaska (60.4 percent)
- Maine (59.7 percent)
- North Carolina (59.3 percent)
- Oregon (57.5 percent)
- Alabama (57 percent)
- New Hampshire (55.7 percent)
- Illinois (62.4 percent)
- West Virginia (60.4 percent)
- Nebraska (60.3 percent)
- South Dakota (59.9 percent)
- Hawaii (59.8 percent)
- Indiana (59.7 percent)
- Delaware (59.6 percent)
- New York (59.2 percent)
- Louisiana (57.9 percent)
- Kansas (57.7 percent)
Former inbound states New Hampshire, Michigan and Florida became balanced in 2017, ending Florida’s former three-year streak of classifying as inbound. After spending 2016 as balanced states, Maine, Rhode Island, Alabama and Nevada became inbound while New Jersey, Oklahoma and Hawaii shifted to outbound. Lastly, Vermont changed from outbound to balanced in 2017.
In 2017, the total number of interstate and cross-border moves reached 72,986, down from 75,427 in 2016. With the inclusion of data from Atlas® Van Lines Canada, sister company of Atlas Van Lines, a total of 81,693 household moves occurred throughout North America in 2017.
International Top 10: Destinations & Origins
Atlas® World Group International conducted 7,748 international household goods moves in 2017, up from 7,165 in 2016. The top destination and origin locations for international moves completed by Atlas World Group International in 2017 include the following states and countries:
Top 10 International Destinations
- South Korea
Top 10 International Origins
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
Other migration trends:
Northeast U.S. Region
The Northeastern states experienced five major changes from 2016 to 2017, with New Hampshire moving from inbound to balanced. Maine and Rhode Island shifted to inbound from balanced, a transition back from both states being balanced in 2016. This is only the second time Maine has been inbound in the past 10 years. Vermont moved from outbound to balanced and New Jersey from balanced to outbound. New York remains outbound for more than 20 years running.
South U.S. Region
In 2017, the Southern region saw three changes. In a major shift, Florida transitioned to balanced after classifying as inbound since 2013. Alabama changed to inbound from balanced, mimicking a shift the state initially experienced in 2015. Lastly, Oklahoma moved to outbound in 2017, after trending as balanced since 2010.
Midwest U.S. Region
The Midwest registered only one change in 2017, with Michigan reversing back to its balanced status after shifting to inbound in 2016. The region also housed the country’s outbound move leader, Illinois, which has yet to classify as inbound since 1994. The Midwest region registered zero inbound states in 2017.
West U.S. Region
For the second year in a row, the Western states boasted the state with the highest percentage of inbound moves across the United States, with Idaho registering 65 percent of moves entering the state. This shows a two percent increase from their highest inbound status in 2016. This region housed the three inbound leaders for 2017: Idaho, Washington and Nevada. In addition, Nevada moved from balanced to inbound and Hawaii from balanced to outbound.
According to data reflecting U.S. interstate and cross-border moves, one of 10 Canadian provinces registered a change from 2016 to 2017. Newfoundland and Labrador shifted from inbound in 2016 to outbound in 2017, following suit with nine other outbound provinces.
The inclusion of interprovincial data from Atlas Van Lines Canada demonstrates each province’s classification based on moves made throughout North America. In 2017, British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island registered as inbound; Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, and Saskatchewan as outbound; and Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Ontario as balanced. Total interprovincial moves in 2017 stayed roughly flat to 2016 totals, with 8,798 in 2016 and 8,790 in 2017.
How is a state classified?
Each state's or province's status is determined by its threshold value, which is the total number of shipments multiplied by 0.55 (i.e., in a state with 100 moves, at least 55 must be outgoing to be considered outbound). All other states or provinces in which outbound or inbound numbers don't exceed the threshold are classified as balanced. Canadian interprovincial and cross-border (from the U.S. to Canada) shipments are both referenced in the study. International moves indicate both states and countries that Atlas World Group International sent the most shipments to from international origin countries in 2017.
About Atlas Van Lines
Atlas Van Lines, a national moving company, is the largest subsidiary of Atlas World Group, an Evansville, Ind.-based company. Atlas World Group companies employ nearly 700 people throughout North America. Nearly 500 Atlas interstate moving agents in the United States and Canada specialize in corporate relocation, household moving services and in the specialized transportation of high-value items, such as electronics, fine art, store fixtures and furniture.