Economy Watch: US Continues to Shift Westward, Southward

The Mountain and Pacific West regions are drawing in the most Americans, while the Northeast and Midwest continue to lose residents, according to a recent United Van Lines study.

Local and regional population growth is essential to the health of commercial real estate, so it’s of some significance that Americans are moving westward, namely to the Mountain and Pacific West, while the Northeast and Midwest continue to lose residents. That’s according to the recently released United Van Lines’ 41st Annual National Movers Study, which tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns over the past year.

In 2017, more residents moved out of Illinois than any other state, with 63 percent of moves being outbound. By contrast, Vermont had the highest percentage of inbound migration in 2017, with nearly 68 percent of moves being inbound.

Move Makers

Vermont aside, the Northeast continues to experience a loss, with New Jersey (63 percent outbound), New York (61 percent), and Connecticut (57 percent) making the list of top outbound states for the third consecutive year. Massachusetts (56 percent) also joined the top outbound list this year.

As a region, the Mountain West continues to increase in popularity, with 54 percent of moves being inbound, according to the report. The West is represented by Oregon (65 percent), Idaho (63 percent), Nevada (61 percent) Washington (59 percent), and Colorado (56 percent). Of moves to Oregon, the highest ranking Western state, a new job or company transfer (49 percent) and proximity to family (24 percent) led the reasons for most of the inbound moves.

Southern states also saw a high number of people moving in, with 52 percent of total moves being inbound. United Van Lines found that the top reasons for moving to the South included company transfer or new job, retirement and proximity to family.