The 2016 Atlas Van Lines Migration Patterns study found that 11 U.S. states, along with the nation’s capital, experienced a shift in migration status in 2016. The study also found that 26 states registered as balanced—meaning that moves in and out of the states were roughly equal—15 as outbound, and 9 as inbound, in addition to Washington, D.C.
Furthermore, the data showed the overall number of moves was down from 2015. The company has conducted the study since 1993 to track the nation’s interstate (between states) moving patterns year to year as reflected in moves handled by Atlas.
The 10 states with the highest percentage of inbound moves and outbound moves are included in order below. This is the first year Idaho has been the study’s inbound leader. Wyoming topped the outbound list in 2012 as well.
Former inbound states Alabama, Maine, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Texas became balanced in 2016. After spending 2015 as balanced states, Michigan, New Hampshire and Washington, D.C. became inbound while Kansas shifted to outbound. In addition, Minnesota, New Jersey and Wisconsin changed from outbound to balanced in 2016.
In 2016, the total number of interstate and interprovincial moves reached 75,427, down from 77,705 in 2015. For the fifth consecutive year, the states with the highest number of total moves were California (14,995), Texas (11,973) and Florida (10,231).
"The moving industry as a whole has contracted annually over the last five years, but we have been fortunate to see a consistent increase in moves during that time until this year,” says Jack Griffin, CEO and Vice Chairman of Atlas World Group. “We are cautiously optimistic that we will see an uptick in 2017 for all types of moves, but we are aware of the economic headwinds that lie ahead of us.”
Click here to view the full results of the 2016 migration patterns, along with a nationwide map and annual histories for each state.