Lauren Falls is a marketing communications manager for leading mover Atlas Van Lines. Nearly 500 Atlas interstate moving agents in the United States and Canada specialize in corporate relocation, household moving services and in the specialized transportation of high-value items such as electronics, fine art, store fixtures and furniture.​

Are you preparing for a move? Or do you have dreams of moving to a new location? Moving data can be a valuable resource for insights on states’ economies and quality of life—both of which can be extremely important factors when making this decision. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 45 million Americans moved in 2014. As we wait for their 2015 data, a leading moving company has gathered and released its own data detailing household migration patterns.

 According to Atlas Van Lines’ 2015 Migration Patterns study, the company performed a total of 77,705 interstate and interprovincial moves in 2015. This number is up from 76,979 moves in 2014, and it represents the largest number of moves for the company since the recession year of 2009.

WHICH STATES ARE AMERICANS MOVING TO?

The study also reveals which states Americans are moving to, which states they’re leaving and which states experienced a relatively balanced number of moves in and out. Below are how states achieve their annual classification of “inbound,” “outbound” or “balanced.”

This year, 20 U.S. states, in addition to Washington, D.C., registered as balanced, 18 states were outbound and 12 states were inbound.

Top Inbound States

So, which 12 states are experiencing an influx of new citizens? Here’s the list with each state’s respective percentage of moves into the state.

  • Oregon (64 percent)
  • Idaho (63 percent)
  • North Carolina (61 percent)
  • Alaska (60 percent)
  • North Dakota (59 percent)
  • Florida (58.4 percent)
  • Tennessee (58.1 percent)
  • Maine (58 percent)
  • Alabama (57.1 percent)
  • Texas (57 percent)
  • Rhode Island (56 percent)
  • Washington (55 percent)


As you’ll notice, the top two states on the list are from the Northwest, and nearly half of the inbound states are in the South. Similar to previous years’ reports, more Americans continue to move to these regions.

So why are more and more Americans moving there? More temperate climates, access to a wide range of amenities, lower housing costs, lower taxes and better job opportunities are all major factors in people’s moving decisions.

States that are new to the “inbound” list this year are Alabama, Alaska, Maine and Rhode Island. All of these states registered as “balanced” in 2014. This is a good indicator that these states are gaining momentum.

Top Outbound States

So, we know were Americans are moving to, but which states are they moving away from? Out of the 18 total outbound states, here are the top five that experienced the highest percentage of outbound moves:

  • Hawaii (62 percent)
  • New York (61.8 percent)
  • Illinois (61.7 percent)
  • South Dakota (60 percent)
  • Wyoming (59.5 percent)  


The Midwest continues to register a majority of outbound states. This is in large part due to the appeal of the South and Northwest, where climates and other quality-of-life features offer more opportunities. 

 A prosperous economy can be very persuasive, but these results indicate many Americans may be looking for a happy work-life balance. For a more comprehensive look at this year’s findings, visit the Atlas Van Lines website. A detailed infographic is also available here.