United Van Lines has once again reviewed who is using its moving services, and where they are moving to, and has identified a number of trends about Vermont.
In particular, customers moving to Vermont are mostly older, wealthy retirement-aged people. Vermont is routinely listed among the top 10 states with the oldest populations.
According to the company’s 2019 National Movers Study, Vermont is the only state with a greater than 70 percent in-bound rate, meaning 7 out of 10 movers are entering the state versus heading elsewhere. It has achieved this two years in a row, with 72.7 inbound percentage last year and 74.3 percent for this year.
Vermont’s inbound percentage has increased every year since United Van Lines began collecting this data in 2013, when Vermont’s inbound percentage was 52.6 percent. The study also points out that Vermont’s total population has remained relatively unchanged in recent years.
Observations from the data include Vermont migration demographics are changing and getting older.
According to the report, 37.5 percent of those moving to the state are 65-years or older; 25 percent are between the ages 55 to 64, and 25 percent are between the ages of 45 and 54. Just 12.5 percent are in the ages 35-44 age bracket. Customers below 35 did not use the moving service enough to show up in the data.
Some people also use the moving company to leave the state. For the age groups that are leaving Vermont, 33 percent are age 65 or older, 17 percent are between ages of 55 and 64, 33 percent are ages 45 to 54, and 17 percent are between ages 34 and 45.
The study also lists why people are coming and going. The top reason given for why United Van Lines customers are moving to Vermont is “family,” at 40 percent. Next is “lifestyle,” at 32 percent. The third main reason people are moving in is retirement, at 28 percent. Finally, work and health were also cited, at 16 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
For customers who left Vermont, the top reason cited for leaving was work — cited by 50 percent. Other reasons include family and retirement.
The study also gives the income levels of those who are coming. Some 31.25 percent are making at least $150,000 per year; 25 percent make between $100,000 and $149,000; 18.75 percent make between $75,000 and $99,999, 6.25 percent make between $50,000 and $74,999, and 18.75 percent make less than $50,000.
Among those who are leaving, it’s also mostly wealthy individuals. The data show 66.67 percent earn over $150,000, and 33.33 percent make between $100,000 and $149,999.
Elsewhere in the country, Idaho follows Vermont as the No. 2 most popular moving destination, at 67.4 percent inbound traffic. Next was Oregon at 65.7 percent, followed by Arizona at 63.2 percent, South Carolina at 61.8 percent and Washington at 59.5 percent.
Top states with outbound moves include New Jersey, at 68.5 percent; Illinois, at 66.5 percent; New York, at 63.1 percent; Connecticut, at 63 percent; and Kansas, at 58.5 percent.
United Van Lines does not attempt to gauge total population trends in and out states. The company is different from some of its competitors in that it offers packing and loading, unlike the self-move services like U-Haul.
The notion that wealthy people are moving to Vermont reinforces the view that the cost of living is pushing out lower- and middle-class residents while the rich are staying put.