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2016 Migration Patterns

Based on 75,427 Interstate and Cross-Border Household Goods Relocations from January 1, 2016 through December 15, 2016.
(Click on individual state/province for 10-year historical data.)

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Where is America moving?

Since January 1993, Atlas Van Lines has reviewed and released data on the origins and destinations of interstate (between states) moves throughout the previous calendar year. The 2016 Migration Patterns study results provide a snapshot of relocation patterns. This year, 26 states registered as balanced—meaning that moves in and out of the states were roughly equal—15 as outbound, and 9 as inbound, in addition to Washington, D.C. Furthermore, the data showed the overall number of moves was down from 2015.

The 10 states with the highest percentage of inbound moves and outbound moves are included in order below.

inbound:

  • Idaho (63 percent)
  • Oregon (62 percent)
  • North Carolina (61 percent)
  • Tennessee (60 percent)         
  • Alaska (59 percent)
  • Washington (58 percent)
  • Michigan (57.2 percent)
  • Washington D.C. (57.1 percent)
  • Florida (56 percent)
  • New Hampshire (55.1 percent)

outbound:

  • Wyoming (63 percent)
  • Nebraska (61 percent)
  • Illinois (60 percent)
  • Delaware (59.5 percent)
  • Louisiana (59 percent)
  • Connecticut (58.9 percent)
  • New York (58.7 percent)
  • West Virginia (58.6 percent)
  • Indiana (58 percent)
  • South Dakota (57.6 percent)

This is the first year Idaho has been the study’s inbound leader. Wyoming topped the outbound list back in 2012 as well.
 
In 2016, the total number of interstate and interprovincial moves reached 75,427, down from 77,705 in 2015. For the fifth consecutive year, the states with the highest number of total moves were California (14,995), Texas (11,973) and Florida (10,231).

Other migration trends:

 

Northeast Region

The Northeastern states saw four major changes from 2015 to 2016, with New Hampshire shifting from balanced to inbound and New Jersey from outbound to balanced. After spending 2015 as inbound, Rhode Island and Maine both became balanced in 2016. New Hampshire was the only inbound state in the region this year. New York has been outbound for more than 14 years.

South Region

The Southern region experienced three changes. Alabama shifted from inbound to balanced, and Texas shifted from inbound to balanced. Before this year, Texas had registered as inbound for more than a decade. Washington, D.C. changed from balanced to inbound.

Midwest Region

In 2016, the Midwest registered three new balanced states, with Minnesota and Wisconsin both moving from outbound to balanced. For the first time since 2010, North Dakota shifted from inbound to balanced. Kansas went from balanced to outbound, and Michigan from balanced to inbound. Michigan was the only inbound state in the Midwest this year, a classification it hasn’t experienced in more than 10 years. In 2016, the region had its least amount of outbound states in recent years.

West Region

While the Western states experienced no classification changes from 2015 to 2016, the region did have the state with the highest percentage of inbound moves in the country, with Idaho registering 63 percent of moves entering the state. The region also registered Wyoming with the highest percentage of outbound moves in the U.S., with 63 percent of moves exiting the state.

Canadian Provinces

Three of the Canadian provinces registered changes from 2015 to 2016, with Newfoundland and Labrador moving from balanced to inbound. Nova Scotia shifted from balanced to outbound, and Prince Edward moved from balanced to inbound in 2016.

How is a state classified?

Each state/province has a threshold value, which is the total number of shipments multiplied by 0.55 (for example, in a state with 100 moves, at least 55 of them would have to be outgoing to classify the state as outbound). A state/province is considered:

  • Outbound when outbound shipments exceed the threshold.
  • Inbound when inbound shipments exceed the threshold.
Nova Scotia - 40 / 32 Nova Scotia - 40 / 32 Connecticut - 1261/ 881 Connecticut - 1261/ 881 Delaware - 393 / 267 Delaware - 393 / 267 Washington, D.C. - 363 / 484 Washington, D.C. - 363 / 484 Maryland -  2062 / 2071 Maryland -  2062 / 2071 Massachusetts - 1636 / 1711 Massachusetts - 1636 / 1711 New Hampshire - 249 / 305 New Hampshire - 249 / 305 New Jersey - 1832 / 1563 New Jersey - 1832 / 1563 Rhode Island - 236 / 237 Rhode Island - 236 / 237 Vermont - 135 / 108 Vermont - 135 / 108 British Columbia - 289 / 177 Alberta - 287 / 131 Saskatchewan - 22 / 9 Manitoba - 40 / 16 Ontario - 837 / 455 Quebec - 201 / 93 Newfoundland & Labrador - 13 / 8 New Brunswick - 9 / 6 Maine - 300 / 342 Virginia - 2985 / 3214 West Virginia - 228 / 161 North Carolina - 1982 / 3126 South Carolina - 2104 / 1838 Pennsylvania - 2801 / 2271 New York - 3716 / 2610 Florida - 4535 / 5696 Georgia - 2941 / 2903 Alabama - 795 / 893 Mississippi - 492 / 502 Tennessee - 1383 / 2041 Kentucky - 802 / 834 Ohio - 2401 / 1931 Michigan - 1477 / 1971 Indiana - 1914 / 1389 Illinois - 3297 / 2216 Wisconsin - 1073 / 881 Louisiana - 1111 / 763 Arkansas - 480 / 484 Missouri - 1062 / 989 Iowa - 716 / 542 Minnesota - 1335 / 1148 North Dakota - 147 / 174 South Dakota - 212 / 156 Nebraska - 541 / 352 Kansas - 949 / 735 Oklahoma - 700 / 750 Texas - 5571 / 6402 New Mexico - 595 / 504 Colorado - 2146 / 2244 Wyoming - 228 / 136 Montana - 204 / 238 Idaho - 405 / 703 Utah - 546 / 531 Arizona - 1940 / 2144 Nevada - 725 / 825 California - 7377 / 7618 Oregon - 590 / 957 Washington - 2402 / 3328 Yukon - 0 / 0 Alaska - 131 / 190 Hawaii - 143 / 120