United Van Lines report: Americans continue moving, mostly out of higher-tax states

United Van Lines

A United Van Lines Truck moves across the country

By Bethany Blankley | The Center Square

While Americans continued to move out of higher taxed blue states in 2021, migration patterns were different than they were in 2020, a report by United Van Lines indicates.

United Van Lines customers primarily moved for new jobs or to be near family, resulting in their destination states being more varied than they were in 2020 when they primarily moved to western and southern states from northern states, its 45th Annual National Migration Study found.

The annual study tracks the company’s exclusive data for customers’ state-to-state migration patterns based on household moves within the 48 contiguous U.S. states and Washington, D.C.

Vermont saw the largest percentage of inbound moves compared to outbound, with 74% of movers moving in. New Jersey saw the largest percentage of residents leaving the state, at 71%. New Jersey has been the top outbound state for four consecutive years, according to the report.

Following Vermont, the next largest percentage of United Van Lines customers moving into a state compared to moving out were South Dakota (69%), South Carolina (63%), West Virginia (63%) and Florida (62%). All four are lower taxing red states; two have no state income tax.

Following New Jersey, the greatest percentage of its customers left Illinois (67%), New York (63%), Connecticut (60%) and California (59%), all higher taxing blue states.

The company also conducted a survey among its customers to identify why they moved. The number one reason was relocation for a new job, or a job transfer, 32.5%. The second most given reason was to be closer to family, 31.8%. Americans also moved to smaller, mid-sized, less populated towns. Effects of lockdown policies and fears related to the coronavirus prompted lifestyle changes, as well as Americans being able to increasingly work from home.

“As the pandemic continues to impact our day-to-day, we’re seeing that lifestyle changes – including the increased ability to work from home – and wanting to be closer to family are key factors in why Americans are moving today,” Eily Cummings, United Van Lines director of corporate communications, said.

In 2021, the top 10 inbound states were Vermont, South Dakota, South Carolina, West Virginia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Oregon, Idaho and Rhode Island.

Six of them are among the 20 least densely populated states in the U.S. with fewer than 100 people per square mile: Vermont, South Dakota, West Virginia, Alabama, Oregon and Idaho.

The top 10 outbound states in 2021 were New Jersey, Illinois, New York, Connecticut, California, Michigan, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Ohio and Nebraska.

Two states that had nearly the same number of people leaving as moving there: Kentucky and Wyoming.

Unlike United Van Lines’ customers, U-Haul’s customers primarily moved one way to Texas, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Arizona last year. They also primarily left California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Alabama.

Image courtesy of United Van Lines
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9 thoughts on “United Van Lines report: Americans continue moving, mostly out of higher-tax states

  1. It’s been pretty well ruined for me. I wasn’t born here but I’ve lived here a long time..I moved here because of what it was, not to change it into something else! But it seems that far too many of the leftists that move here can’t wait to get elected to some position and start making changes. Seven Days had an article about people moving here; one couple was already talking about the changes they wished to make. It never seems to occur to them that perhaps we like VT just fine as it is. I miss what we had. I’m being chased out of here as I can no longer tolerate the leftist woke agenda and attitudes. Covid put it over the top.

  2. Richard,
    You’re absolutely correct about those with military service who have settled in Vermont, and the vast differences about the people who have moved here. Good on you. Glad you’re in Vermont, Squid…

  3. Damn! It looks like Vermont has been discovered by the whole crazy country of flat land, out-of-state, carpetbaggers. Makes me wish that brochures highlighting Vermont’s values, ethics and traditions of hard work were passed out upon entry into out ‘Brave Little State’ to all the woke, progressive, liberals looking to change us into the trashed states that they left behind; and with directions on how to return to them…

      • No, Richard, I was an Air Force brat, moving with my parents from state-to-state growing up, following the planes my father flew. When I was discharged from the US Army 50 years ago myself, I had served my country, but had no real place to call home. I chose Vermont because I had not seen another state I’d rather live in. I embraced the strength and quality of life that Vermont embodied and had to offer, and I had no desire to change anything about it. No, I was not born here, but all my children and grand children were. It’s a great state, but in the last 50 years, it has gone from being a great state to fast becoming the gulag you mention; I’ve already listed the reasons why that’s happening, and I’m pushing back. Were you born here Richard?

        • You’re right Mark. I think it started before Act 60, but that really pushed it over the edge. Lost a lot of small farmers because of the resulting sprawl and tax increases. I live down around Mt Snow, in the last 2 years there have been almost 2 thousand new PO boxes added. A lot of SJW and BLM activists in the area, even a few teachers for god’s sake!. Most of them will probably leave after whining for a few winters…

        • No Mark I wasn’t born here but my grandmother was. I came to Vermont every chance I got since 1954 except for the 4 years I served in the Navy. I now live in the NEK, (“The Real Vermont”). Point being I known Vermont from way back! What I witnessed was drastic change that happened in the 1960’s when the citizens of Vermont who minded their own business and didn’t pay much attention to politics and government allowed a contingent of The Communist Party of N.Y. led by Berni Sanders to take a foothold in Vermont and it has been a steady move toward Communism ever since. Most of the ex-flatlander’s I know around here have military service backgrounds and are anything but leftists. There is a huge difference between people who paid to move here and people who are paid to move here.

          • Richard, you are so right.. as an 8th generation Vermonter, Vermont was once a great state now look at it. My grandfather always said ” Let those high snobs flatlanders move in and they will take over and ruin Vermont” Boy he was right. I don’t mind people moving here but not taking over. Vermont legislators are 97% out of staters. what does that tell you, they are ruining Vermont.
            I want the Vermont that I grew up in back.

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