Idaho, Oregon Top Relocation Destinations as Americans Leave the Northeast

New job, retirement are top reasons consumers relocate
A couple hiking along the Oregon coast

If you’re considering moving to make a fresh start, you may want to consider the Northwest, as states in that region are proving popular with consumers looking to relocate, a new survey shows.

Each year, moving company United Van Lines uses customer data to track the percentage of inbound and outbound moves in regions across the country. With that information, they identify which states are welcoming the highest percentage of new residents, and which states are seeing residents leave for greener pastures. For the study, United Van Lines focused on states where the company moved 250 or more customers.

Idaho was the top inbound destination, with 67.4% of its moves being from consumers moving into the state. It was followed by Oregon, which saw 65.7% of its moves coming from people relocating there. Arizona, South Carolina and Washington state rounded out the top five.

On the flip side, New Jersey scored the dubious distinction of being the state people most wanted to move from, with 68.5% of its moves being from consumers relocating out of the Garden State. In fact, the Northeast in general said goodbye to many residents in 2019, with New York and Connecticut among the top five states with the highest percentage of outbound moves with 63.1% and 63% respectively.

A few states were what the study referred to as “balanced,” meaning they had roughly the same number of consumers moving in as moving out. For example, Maine and Oklahoma were balanced states, the study found.

Retirement, career changes behind moves

People change states for a variety of reasons. Across all parts of the country, career change was a major motivator, as half of those who were moved by United Van Lines relocated because they were taking a new job or had been transferred to a different location by their current company. Washington, D.C., was the location that saw the greatest inbound migration for career reasons, with 78% of those who moved to the city doing so for a new job or job transfer.

Retirement is another motivator for relocating and accounted for 26.9% of the moves out of the Northeast and 22.8% of the moves out of the Midwest. Some of those leaving the Northeast and Midwest may be heading to Florida, as the Sunshine State was the top retirement destination with 40.5% of inbound moves coming from retirees.

Baby boomers — those between 55-74, according to the study — were the ones most likely to move last year, accounting for more than 45% of inbound moves.

Moving to a new state can open up a world of new opportunities, but it’s important to be prepared for the costs involved. For example, moving insurance may come in handy in case your belongings are lost or damaged during the relocation process.

Also, do your research so you are less likely to underestimate how much money you may need to pay. Moving and relocation loans may be a good option if you don’t have enough cash to cover all of your moving expenses.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.

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