Americans are flocking to places with warm weather, more jobs and green spaces, and choosing to leave behind colder temperatures and high housing prices, according to a new report from United Van Lines, a moving company.
The annual National Movers Study looked at states that people moved to and from throughout 2015 based on data from 128,000 moves across the 48 continental states and the District of Columbia. It based its rankings on which states had the highest percentage of inbound moves.
For the third year in a row, Oregon ranked as the top destination last year. The number of people who have moved to the state has grown by 10 percent over the past six years. South Carolina, Vermont, Idaho and North Carolina rounded out the top five.
Overall, the study finds that Americans continue to move west and south. The report cites the tech boom that’s led to more job openings as a big enticement for people to move west, as well as a growing desire among Americans for outdoor activity and nature.
During the Great Recession, people stopped moving to the Sun Belt as they had been doing for the past few decades, but that trend appears to be picking back up as more people, especially Baby Boomers, want to live in places with warmer weather. People also have been moving to the South for work, to retire and to be closer to family.
As more people seek better weather, some states in the Northeast are struggling to keep their residents. Not only is the cold weather causing people to leave, but high housing prices and the slow economic recovery have been factors as well.
New Jersey had the largest percentage of outbound moves, with twice as many United Van Lines shipments leaving the state as coming in. New York was second while Illinois, which ranks as the worst post-recession state for job growth, saw the third highest outflows last year. Out of 102 counties in the state, only six have recovered to pre-recession employment levels. According to Census data, Illinois had the largest population decline of any state last year.
Below are the top 10 states that people moved to – and left – in 2015, according to United Van Lines.
Top States People Moved to in 2015
2. South Carolina
5. North Carolina
8. District of Columbia
Top States People Left in 2015
1. New Jersey
2. New York
8. West Virginia