By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – While Americans continued to move out of higher taxed blue states in 2021, migration patterns were different than they were in 2020, a report by United Van Lines indicates.
United Van Lines customers primarily moved for new jobs or to be near family, resulting in their destination states being more varied than they were in 2020 when they primarily moved to western and southern states from northern states, its 45th Annual National Migration Study found.
The annual study tracks the company’s exclusive data for customers’ state-to-state migration patterns based on household moves within the 48 contiguous U.S. states and Washington, D.C.
Vermont saw the largest percentage of inbound moves compared to outbound, with 74% of movers moving in. New Jersey saw the largest percentage of residents leaving the state, at 71%. New Jersey has been the top outbound state for four consecutive years, according to the report.
Following Vermont, the next largest percentage of United Van Lines customers moving into a state compared to moving out were South Dakota (69%), South Carolina (63%), West Virginia (63%) and Florida (62%). All four are lower taxing red states; two have no state income tax.
Following New Jersey, the greatest percentage of its customers left Illinois (67%), New York (63%), Connecticut (60%) and California (59%), all higher taxing blue states.
The company also conducted a survey among its customers to identify why they moved. The number one reason was relocation for a new job, or a job transfer, 32.5%. The second most given reason was to be closer to family, 31.8%. Americans also moved to smaller, mid-sized, less populated towns. Effects of lockdown policies and fears related to the coronavirus prompted lifestyle changes, as well as Americans being able to increasingly work from home.
“As the pandemic continues to impact our day-to-day, we’re seeing that lifestyle changes – including the increased ability to work from home – and wanting to be closer to family are key factors in why Americans are moving today,” Eily Cummings, United Van Lines director of corporate communications, said.
In 2021, the top 10 inbound states were Vermont, South Dakota, South Carolina, West Virginia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Oregon, Idaho and Rhode Island.
Six of them are among the 20 least densely populated states in the U.S. with fewer than 100 people per square mile: Vermont, South Dakota, West Virginia, Alabama, Oregon and Idaho.
The top 10 outbound states in 2021 were New Jersey, Illinois, New York, Connecticut, California, Michigan, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Ohio and Nebraska.
Two states that had nearly the same number of people leaving as moving there: Kentucky and Wyoming.Unlike United Van Lines’ customers, U-Haul’s customers primarily moved one way to Texas, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Arizona last year. They also primarily left California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Alabama.