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January 2016

Oregon No. 1 destination for movers

Oregon retained its position as the country's top moving destination according to United Van Lines 39th annual national movers study, which tracks state-to-state migration patterns. New to the 2015 inbound list was Washington, which ranked No. 10 with 56 percent inbound moves.

Officials with the country's leading mover said this year's data reflect longer-term trends of people moving to the Pacific West. Michael Stoll, economist and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, attributes part of the popularity for Portland and Seattle to their boom in the technology and creative marketing industries, along with a growing desire for outdoor activity and green space.

"The aging Boomer population is driving relocation from the Northeast and Midwest to the West and South, as more and more people retire to warmer regions," Stoll observed.

Top 10 inbound and outbound states for 2015
Top Inbound States
Top Outbound States
1. Oregon
1. New Jersey
2. South Carolina
2. New York
3. Vermont
3. Illinois
4. Idaho
4. Connecticut
5. North Carolina
5. Ohio
6. Florida
6. Kansas
7. Nevada
7. Massachusetts
8. District of Columbia
8. West Virginia
9. Texas
9. Mississippi
10. Washington
10. Maryland

Oregon retained its top inbound ranking for the third straight year with 69 percent of moves to and from the state being inbound. The state has continued to climb the ranks, increasing inbound migration by 10 percent over the past six years.  Of moves to Oregon, a new job or company transfer (53 percent) and wanting to be closer to family (20 percent) led the reasons for most inbound moves.

The Southern states also saw a high number of people moving in with 53 percent of total moves being inbound. In a separate survey of its customers, United Van Lines found the top reasons for moving South included company transfer/new job, retirement and proximity to family.

The Northeast continues to experience a moving deficit, with Vermont, which reported 62 percent inbound moves, being an exception.

United classifies states as "high inbound" if 55 percent or more of the moves are going into a state, "high outbound" if 55 percent or more moves were coming out of a state or "balanced" if the difference between inbound and outbound is negligible. 

United Van LInes 2015 Migration Study