Top 10 states people moved to – and left – in 2021: study –

by: Becky Willeke, Nexstar Media Wire

Posted: / Updated:

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The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the value of smaller, midsized towns and cities in the eyes of many Americans — some of whom had opted to move to less-dense locales in 2021. (Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Americans moving to new states in 2021 opted in large numbers for uncrowded destinations, according to a study by United Van Lines.

On Monday, the moving company released its 45th Annual National Movers Study, which uses customer data to track state-to-state migration patterns.

Nine of the top 10 outbound states are considered densely populated. When it came to outbound moves, New Jersey (71%) topped the list for the fourth straight year.

Illinois (67%) ranked second on the outbound list, followed by New York (63%), Connecticut (60%), and California (59%). Each of these states have also regularly appeared on the top of the outbound list.

Vermont was the state with the highest percentage (74%) of inbound migration with United Van Lines.

Moving In

The top inbound states of 2021 were:

  1. Vermont
  2. South Dakota
  3. South Carolina
  4. West Virginia
  5. Florida
  6. Alabama
  7. Tennessee
  8. Oregon
  9. Idaho
  10. Rhode Island

Moving Out

The top outbound states for 2021 were:

  1. New Jersey
  2. Illinois
  3. New York
  4. Connecticut
  5. California
  6. Michigan
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Louisiana
  9. Ohio
  10. Nebraska

The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the value of smaller, midsized towns and cities in the eyes of many Americans, according to Michael A. Stoll, an economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“We’re seeing this not only occur because of Americans’ desire to leave high density areas due to risk of infection, but also due to the transformation of how we’re able to work, with more flexibility to work remote,” Stoll said in a United Van Lines news release.

United Van Lines also conducts an accompanying survey to examine the motivations and influences for Americans’ interstate moves. This year’s survey results indicated 31.8% of Americans who moved did so in order to be closer to family. Additionally, 32.5% of Americans moved for a new job or job transfer, a significant decrease from 2015, when more than 60% of Americans cited a job or transfer.

Adding to the exodus numbers were Gen Xers, many of whom retired early and moved to Florida, according to the study, but the data shows they overwhelmingly favored less dense cities like Punta Gorda and Sarasota over population-dense locations such as Miami and Orlando.