Remember all the times that you and your neighbors have moved? How many times have you noticed a big moving truck pass by your street? Movers running helter-skelter, frequent yard sales in the neighborhood, and moving boxes lying around are some of the common sights for most Americans. It would be quite surprising if all of this does not ring a bell in your mind, considering how more than 30 million Americans move every year and most of you have probably been a part of these stats.

The revenue generated by the moving industry sums up to billions of dollars and this might make you realize how massive this industry is. But have you ever wondered where all these people are exactly going or why so many people are moving every year? Don’t worry, we are here to answer all your questions! Some interesting moving stats and facts have been compiled by us just for you, so go on and have a look.

What is the Moving Trend?

When we said that millions of Americans are moving every year, you must have wondered about where exactly these people are going. You might have remembered instances of your cousin moving away to a different state altogether. On the contrary, your neighbor might have moved into a bigger house just down the street.

Every move is different. If someone is moving, one can’t assume that they are going to necessarily go for an interstate move. You should certainly have a look at the following moving trends that the Census Bureau has noted down for the year 2019-2020.

  • 60.8% of movers moved within the same county.
  • On the contrary, 39.2% of the movers moved to a completely different county.
  • 62.5% of the movers moved within the same state of the USA.
  • Meanwhile, 37.5% of the movers moved to a different state altogether.
Moved within the Same County60.8%
Moved to Another County39.2%
Moved within the Same State62.5%
Moved to Different State37.5%

Now that you have understood the general pattern of movement in America, let us make it more interesting. America has typically been divided into different regions and each region witnesses an influx of migrants and a loss of residents at the same time. Before we get into the numbers, you should understand the following concepts.

  • In-Migration: In-migration is a process by which residents move to a new place within the same country for permanent residence. These people are considered as the in-migrants of the new area. For instance, if you live in Texas and move to California, you are the in-migrants of California.
  • Out-Migration: Out-Migration is a process by which residents move out of a particular place to move to a new place within the same country. These people are considered to be the out-migrants of their old place of residence. For instance, if you live in Texas and move to California, you are the out-migrants of Texas.
  • Net Internal Migration: This term essentially refers to the difference between in-migrants and out-migrants of the region.
  • Immigration: Immigration is a process through which people leave their own country and move to a foreign country. Many people immigrate to America every year.
  • Net Migration: This has been calculated by adding the number of movers from abroad and the net internal migration every year.

Also Read: List of Interstate Movers

Now that you have understood the specific terms that are to be used for different types of movers, you will be easily able to understand the moving trends within each region of America for the year 2019-2020.

1. The Northeast

The North-eastern region consists of 9 states namely Maine, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Pennsylvania. This region is densely populated and economically developed as well. People living here come from diverse cultural backgrounds.

According to the US Census Bureau, there were 284k in-migrants and 449 out-migrants in the North-eastern region of the country. As a result, the net internal migration stood at -165k that year. But, 196k people moved into the region from abroad because of which the net migration for the region was 31k.

2. The Midwest

The Midwestern region comprises 12 states: Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kansas, South Dakota, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Also known as America’s Heartland, the economy of these countries is mainly supported by the heavy farming industry and the agricultural sector. The region is home to residents who love their food, music, and sports.

According to the US Census Bureau, the Midwest had 388k in-migrants and 443k out-migrants in the year 2019-2020. Because of this, the internal net migration was -54k, i.e., in negative for the year. But 124k people moved in from foreign countries into this region as a result of which the net migration stood at 70k.

Also Read: 15 Reasons to Move to The Midwest | Moving to Nebraska

3. The South

The American south is made up of 16 states namely, West Virginia, Virginia, Florida, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. The South is known to be the most racially diverse region in America and the service sector (finance, tech, etc.) is the backbone of the southern economy.

According to the Census Bureau, the Southern region had 997k in-migrants and 627k out-migrants. This led to positive internal net migration. The population increased by 370k. To add to that, 473k people moved into the region from foreign countries. This resulted in positive net migration of 843k.

See Also: 8 Reasons to Move To The Southeast

4. The West

The West consists of 11 beautiful states namely, Alaska, California, Arizona, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. This is the largest region of the country and is geographically diverse as well. The economy of this region is supported by the service sector as well as the agricultural and other resource-based sectors.

According to the Census Bureau, the Western region had 396 in-migrants and 547k out-migrants. As a result, the net internal migration was negative. This means that the west witnessed a loss of 151k people. But the region also witnessed an influx of 73k abroad movers. As a result, the net migration was 23k for the year.

Type of Migration (2019-2020)NortheastMidwestSouthWest
Net internal Migration-165*-54370*-151*
Movers from Abroad196124473173
Net Migration (Inclusing abroad)3170843*23
*Table Content: Annual Inmigration, Outmigration, Net Migration, and Movers from Abroad for Regions: 2019-2020 (Numbers in Thousand)

Which States are Americans Moving From?

As we saw, many people move internally within the country each year. Out of this, many leave their states behind and move to a completely new state. What are the states which witness the maximum number of outbound moves and why does that happen? This question must have intrigued your mind and that’s why we have found out some answers! Here are the top 10 states of the USA that experience the maximum number of outbound moves.

  • Illinois: Many people choose to move out of Illinois in search of better housing and employment opportunities. Poor public policy tends to be an obstacle for people. To add to that, the majority of the people who left were senior adults.
  • New Jersey: New Jersey has witnessed a loss in its population because many people desire to change their lifestyle. A major proportion moves out of NJ due to a career change or company transfer. Retirees also leave NJ behind as they prefer to spend their golden years somewhere else.
  • West Virginia: West Virginia has the 3rd largest number of outbound movers who leave the state in search of better job opportunities. Wages in the state tend to be lower due to a weak economy. To add to that, crime rates have also been a problem for the residents of West Virginia.
  • New York: People leave New York for several reasons. The city is densely populated because of which housing costs and the overall costs of living are terribly high. Life here is quite fast-paced, people often find themselves stressed. Community living is a myth here. People who love to stay in tight-knit communities often end up leaving New York.
  • Alaska: The state has almost nothing to offer to the younger generation. Younger people move away for college and never return after leaving. To add to that, the cost of living is quite high in Alaska. Not to mention the cold winters which don’t suit everyone’s weather taste.
  • North Dakota: Most of the people who move out of North Dakota seek a change in their lifestyle. A fast-paced life is what people want along with moderate weather, neither of which is offered by North Dakota. Additionally, the economy of the state is a major driving out factor for the outbound movers.
  • Connecticut: The biggest irony is that many people move to Connecticut in search of jobs and then leave it for even better job opportunities. The taxes in the state are rather high which tends to push people out. A lot of people who move out are retirees who want to settle into a better place.
  • Kansas: A big proportion of college graduates leave Kansas due to the lack of job opportunities. The second reason why people leave Kansas is due to retirement. Lifestyle and health are the subsidiary reasons for many people moving out of Kansas.
  • Michigan: The auto industry of Michigan is on the decline and this has motivated people to move out and look for better job opportunities. To add to that, the harsh winters make several people feel uncomfortable because of which they choose to leave the state.
  • California: The cost of living in California is ridiculously high because of which several people prefer to leave the state. The political problem in California is another contributing factor and is making people leave. The housing crisis and rising taxes are all responsible for people choosing to leave California.
Top 10 States people move away from
2New Jersey63.50%
3West Virginia61.70%
4New York61.70%
6North Dakota60.30%

Also Read: Out of State Movers List

Which States are American Moving To?

After reading the previous section, you must have realized that a lot of people are moving out of some states. Then where exactly do these people end up going? Here are the top 10 states which have witnessed an enormous influx of the American population from different states.

  • Idaho: Idaho is the most popular state and the percentage of people moving into it is quite high. Business is booming in Idaho and the employment opportunities are abundant as well. To add to that, the cost of living here is really low because of which the state ends up attracting a lot of people.
  • Nevada: This state has the second-highest percentage of inbound moves. The picturesque landscape is what attracts a lot of people to this state. The economy of the state is ever-growing, there are plenty of jobs. Nevada is quite sunny as well. Housing is available very easily and the taxes here are low. As a result of all this, many people choose to move here.
  • Vermont: Vermont has no large cities. That is why it attracts all those who seek to have a charming small-town living experience. People living here enjoy a healthy lifestyle and are surrounded by nature. Whenever people need a breather, they move to Vermont to live a peaceful life.
  • Arizona: Arizona has good weather which tends to be a major decision-making factor for a lot of people. To add that, Arizona has experienced a positive internal net migration due to its low taxes and the lower costs of living.
  • Oregon: Oregon has seen a rise in in-bound migration due to its growing employment opportunities. The tech industry is bustling with creative opportunities. Not only this, but Oregon also offers its residents enough outdoor space and greenery to help them relax and find peace in their busy lives.
  • North Carolina: Good weather is what keeps most people happy and North Carolina has a lot of goodness to offer in that category. The cost of living is very affordable and the unemployment rates are low as well. Fun-loving people who value spending time on things they love often move to NC.
  • Tennessee: A lot of people tend to move to Tennessee for the simple reason of being close to their families. Tennessee has experienced a huge influx of retirees who move to Tennessee for the lifestyle it offers. The low property tax along with the absence of state income tax makes Tennessee a wallet-friendly place to move to.
  • Montana: Montana attracts several adventure seekers who love being outdoors. The breathtaking scenery is what makes life worth living for many people. Montana also attracts several students as it houses some of the finest colleges and universities in the country.
  • South Carolina: SC is the dream destination for many retirees as they often have their families in this state. To add to that, South Carolina has a lot of inbound movers because it has some of the best hospitals in the country. The state has a strong economy and the housing is affordable which often is what people are looking for.
  • Alabama: Alabama is bustling with job opportunities (especially the tech sector) because of which movers choose to move to Alabama. Apart from this, living here is cheap and it is one of the most tax-friendly states in the USA. It also offers the perfect blend of country and urban lifestyle. People here are employed and earn well, but also enjoy a laid-back lifestyle.
Top 10 States people move to
6North Carolina58.10%
9South Carolina56.20%

How Far Do People Move Within The State?

Whenever people move within the state, one cannot assume that they are necessarily relocating to the other side of the state. Some people relocate to change their house and not their locality. On the contrary, some people move to experience a change in their lifestyle, jobs, etc. The US Census Bureau has found out how far people move when they move within the state. Why don’t you take a look at the numbers?

  • 39.2% of the people moved for less than 50 miles, i.e., the distance between their new home and the old home was less than 50 miles.
  • 25.5% of the movers moved to a new place that was 50 to 199 miles away from their old home.
  • Only 15% of the movers relocated 200-499 miles away from their old homes.
  • Lastly, 20.3% of the people decided to move 500 miles away from their old homes.
How Far Do People Move within the State
InterCounty Moves (2019-2020)(%)
Less then 50 Miles39.2
50 to 199 Miles25.5
200 to 499 Miles15
500 Miles or More20.3

Also See: Top Local Moving Companies in the America

Why Are Americans Moving So Much?

Now that you have found out which states Americans are moving out of and which states they are moving to, you must have realized that there are some common reasons for them to move. Many people move in search of a better job, a better lifestyle and an affordable cost of living. However, this isn’t that simple. There are many more reasons that motivate Americans to move. Want to know what they are? Have a look!

Reason for Moving (2019-2020)
1Wanted newer/better/larger house or apartment/14.57%
2New job or job transfer11.41%
3To establish own household10.64%
4Other family reason8.71%
5Wanted to own home, not rent7.81%
6Wanted Cheaper housing6.64%
7Other housing reason6.34%
8Change in marital status6.13%
9Relationship with unmarried partner5.13%
10To be closer to work/easier commute4.91%
11Wanted better neighborhood /less crime4.14%
12Other reasons3.51%
13To attend or leave college3.15%
14Health reasons2.10%
15To look for work or lost job1.70%
18Other job-related reason0.42%
19Change of climate0.34%
20Natural disaster0.37%

How Are People Choosing To Move?

Many people move for their own personal reasons but each of them moves in different ways. Some people need professional movers to move their stuff, while some people rent out trucks to carry out their moves. Lastly, there is a whole group of people who choose to do all the work by themselves, i.e., they don’t need assistance from any outside entity for their moves.

3 million people go for an interstate each year and the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) has found out how these people are choosing to move.

How are People Choosing to Move in USA
How are people moving?
1By Professional Movers550,000
2By Consumer Rented Trucks1 million
3By Consumer Unassisted1.4 Million
*The American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) broke down the data of 3 million interstate moves and here’s what it found about how Americans choose to move?

Who Is Paying for All These Moves?

Americans move quite often, we have already established that. But moves tend to get super expensive! One might ask, how are they managing to generate so much money for each move?

Well, it is not necessary that the person who is moving has to spend money from his/her own pocket. Sometimes people get their companies to pay for the moves. On the other hand, government agencies and the military also pay for some of the moves.

The AMSA has managed to figure out which household shipments are being paid for by whom. Let us have a look at it!

  • 44% of the people moving with professional movers sponsor their own moves.
  • Corporations are responsible for 37% of the household shipments.
  • The military sponsors about 16% of the household shipments.
  • Lastly, the federal government agencies sponsor 2% of the household shipments.
Breakdown of Household Goods Shipment by Type
4Other Federal Government Agencies2%
* Source: (AMSA) 2018 Data

Who are Moving More: Homeowners vs Renters?

It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that renters tend to change their houses plenty of times as compared to homeowners. Leases last only for some time and many renters choose to enjoy this freedom and not remain tied down to that one place. On the other hand, homeowners cannot decide to get up and change their house whenever they want.

However, this doesn’t mean that renters move every other year. Similarly, this also doesn’t mean that homeowners never change their houses. The Census Bureau has found out some data on how frequently homeowners or renters are moving. Let’s have a look at that!

  • 41% of the movers who moved owned their homes.
  • 59% of the movers were living on rented premises.
  • 5.8% of the movers who owned their homes moved again within a year of their previous move.
  • 21.6% of the movers who were staying in rented homes moved within a year of their previous move.

How Much Money is the Moving Industry Generating?

So many people relocate each year and many of them have to spend money on some moving service or the other, be it moving containers, truck rentals, storage services, or full-service moving. Have you ever wondered how much revenue is generated by the moving industry?

The relocation services that are offered by the moving industry end up generating more than $12.6 billion annually. According to the Census Bureau, the following three service areas end up accounting for 97.3% of the revenue that is generated.

  • The local and long-distance transportation services generate about 69.6% of the revenue.
  • Warehousing and storage services end up generating 20.2% of the revenue.
  • Packing and packaging services generate 7.5% of the revenue.
  • 2.7% of the revenue is generated by other moving-related items (miscellaneous).

General Moving Facts and Statistics

  1. The US Census Bureau found out that the average American moves about 11.7 times in their lifetime.
  2. According to the US Census data, nearly 31 million people moved to the United States in 2019. That actually equates to the fact that 9.8% of all Americans move every year.
  3. According to the data found by the AMSA, around 3 million Americans go for an interstate move every year.
  4. Unsurprisingly, the summer season is the busiest time for the moving industry as the maximum number of moves end up happening then. About 60% of the annual US moves end up happening between May and August.
  5. People who move, live in different sizes of households. Let us have a look at the breakdown of the percentage of household sizes that are moved by people every year.
  • Partial move: 12.69%
  • Studio apartments: 9.37%
  • 1-bedroom homes: 28.81%
  • 2-bedroom homes: 21.16%
  • 3-bedroom homes: 20.27%
  • 4+ bedroom homes: 7.70%
  1. According to the AMSA, about 50,000 moving trucks are operating in the United States of America.
  2. The AMSA has uncovered some data that points to the fact that about 47.8% of the moving companies in the country have less than 5 employees. Only 8.5% of the moving companies employ more than 100 employees.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top two reasons people move?

The top two reasons that cause people to move are as follows:

  • People move in order to live in a better or a larger house.
  • People move for a new job or due to a job transfer.

Why moving is a good thing?

Moving is definitely a good thing especially if your life is stuck in a monotonous routine at your current home. Moving offers you the chance to have a fresh start. You can explore new places, try out things that you have never tried, or even organizing something as big as a move can give you a sense of direction.

Why Moving is so stressful?

Moving is a huge organizational challenge. There are several things to take care of and having to work on every small detail of something can easily stress anyone out. Moving also gets stressful because it is accompanied by some major changes in your life. You often can’t accurately predict whether you will enjoy living in your new place. Taking a leap into the unknown often comes with its own set of anxieties.