2022 Migration Patterns Study

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Migration map legend

2022 Migration Patterns Study: Where Is America Moving?

According to Atlas® Van Lines’ Annual Migration Patterns Study, many Americans moved to areas with growing populations in 2022 following two years of unprecedented economic and societal shifts. 

Atlas® Van Lines is one of the nation’s leading movers and has published their Annual Migration Patterns Study since 1993. This study tracks the nation’s interstate, cross-border, and international moves based on internal data. Data shows what states Americans are moving to and from and can be a useful tool in de
termining whether factors like housing costs and the average cost of living have an impact on moving trends. 

Atlas Van Lines’ data shows that people are leaving some of the most affordable states like Iowa, Indiana, and Illinois, in 2022. This indicates that cost of living is being surpassed by other motivations to move, like being closer to family

Overall, the Migration Patterns Study showed 13 U.S. states classified as outbound, meaning more people moved out of the state rather than in, and 13 U.S. states were classified as inbound, which indicates more people moved into the state rather than out.

What States Are Most Americans Moving To?

The 10 U.S. states with the highest percentage of inbound moves in 2022 were:
2022 Top 10 Inbound
1. North Carolina
2. Maine
3. Arkansas
4. Florida
5. Montana
6. Washington
7. New Mexico
8. Tennessee
9. Alabama
10. New Hampshire
Florida was once again a preferred destination for movers and The fastest-growing state in 2022.


What States Are Most Americans Moving Away From?

The 10 U.S. states with the highest percentage of outbound moves in 2022 were:
2022 Top 10 Outbound
1. Illinois
2. Indiana
3. New York
4. Iowa
5. Michigan
6. Minnesota
7. Pennsylvania
8. Wyoming
9. Mississippi
10. Oregon

Illinois is designated as the country’s outbound leader, following New York’s four-year stand. Oregon was also one of the top outbound states for the first time in the last decade, following three consecutive years with a balanced status.

Are Americans Moving to States with a Lower Cost of Living?

How do average cost of living, housing costs, and a state’s overall affordability impact 2022 moving trends? 

Cost of living refers to the amount of money required to maintain a certain standard of living in a particular location or region. This measurement considers various expenses, including housing, transportation, food, healthcare, education, taxes, and other essential goods and services. A cost of living index provides a standardized comparison to help understand regional difference in cost of living from state to state.

A state’s affordability is determined by essentially comparing household income against housing prices to determine what percentage of homes could be reasonably afforded at the incomes typical for that state.

When comparing Migration Patterns data against measures for cost of living and affordability, we can see that none of the states with the lowest costs of living show up in the top 10 inbound states. In fact, Americans are leaving some of the most affordable states like Iowa, Indiana, and Illinois.

Are Americans Moving Internationally?

Atlas® World Group International saw a 41.5% increase in international household goods moves in 2022, showcasing the impact of eased travel restrictions and increased mobility on international migration patterns. According to data reflecting the total number of international household moves completed, the top international origins and destinations for 2022 included the following:

2022 Top 10 Inbound 2022 Top 10 Outbound
Japan Japan
Saudi Arabia United Kingdom
Germany Germany
Korea (Democratic Republic of) Korea (Democratic Republic of)
United Kingdom Thailand
France Spain
India China
Netherlands France
China Australia
Singapore Bahrain


Canadian Provinces

According to data reflecting U.S. interstate and cross-border moves, three Canadian provinces recorded a change from 2021 to 2022. Alberta and Québec both changed from balanced in 2021 to inbound and outbound, respectively, while British Columbia became balanced in 2022.

Migration Insights:

Flocking to Florida: Is Everyone Moving to the Sunshine State?
Migration Time Machine: A Look Back at 1992 Moving Trends

How Status Is Determined

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 do not 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 2022.

To view the full results of the 2022 Migration Patterns Study, along with a nationwide map, regional trends and historical data, download our media kit.