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United Van Lines 2015 Migration Study


For nearly four decades (39 years now), United Van Lines has conducted an annual survey to discover migration patterns from state to state across the nation. Each year, new patterns form, old patterns repeat, and we learn more United Van Lines Migration Studyabout why and where people are moving throughout the country. In the 2014 survey, Oregon held the title for “Top Moving Destination” for the second year in a row while the northeast experienced quite an exodus for reasons such as retirement and relocation (though in my opinion, it’s the cold that pushed people away). Now that 2015 has come to a complete close, it’s time to see what, if anything, has changed.

According to the survey, Oregon has maintained its title of “Top Moving Destination” for its third consecutive year followed closely by South Carolina. United Van Lines alone handled 4,069 moves both to and from South Carolina with 2,538 of those moves being incoming families. That’s 62.4 percent of the total! Oregon edged out the Palmetto state by less than 7 percent with a 69 percent rate of incoming moves.

Experts say that growth of the manufacturing industry in South Carolina is a major player in attracting families and businesses alike. The southern Carolina is enticing companies, both large and small, with attractive tax rates and its “right to work” state, meaning employees cannot be required to join a labor union.

Similar to last year’s survey, United noted high rates of departure from the Northeast as well as the Midwest. This makes sense since the people moving IN to Oregon and South Carolina are obviously moving OUT of someplace else but there’s more to it than that.

With improved technology, a changing workforce, and increased job flexibility nation-wide, telecommuting is rising in popularity, allowing people to choose where they live regardless of where their job is located. This means that people can move into states with milder, warmer climates, lower income taxes, affordable housing, etc. and worry (less) about unemployment.

It comes as no surprise, as this was a trend last year as well, that New Jersey and New York saw the highest rates of departure in 2015. They are also the states ranked by Forbes with the highest tax burden. Coincidence? Not likely.

United Van Lines is our nation’s largest household goods mover so we know their Intel carries quite a bit of weight. Do any of these trends surprise you? Did your company relocate employees into any of the aforementioned states? Did you notice any trends within your employee activity? Check out the full report for more details.

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VP, Client Services

VP of Business Development Northeast Region


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