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The Ultimate Collection of US Moving Statistics

(updated March 2020)

Where exactly are people moving, anyway?

Welcome to the web's most comprehensive hub for every major relocation study in America: migration reports, vanline reports, and government census data. Our mission is to combine, compare and contrast data across every major moving report to explain in plain English where Americans are actually moving (plus a whole lot of other interesting things, too!).

Who's moving in America?

9.8% of Americans moved in 2019 - the lowest rate in 70+ years.This moving rate has been steadily declining since reaching a high of 20.2%, way back in 1985.

Overall, roughly 31.4 million people moved in 2019 - that's 3% fewer than a year ago when 32.3 million Americans relocated, and 16% fewer than 5 years ago in 2015, when 36.3 million people moved in the United States.

(Source: CPS Geographic Mobility Tables)

Breakdown by % of moves in-county, out-of-county, and out-of-state

60% of people who moved relocated within the same county - the lowest rate since 2006, when 57% of all moves were county-bound.

  • 21.2% moved to a different county within the same state in 2019, the second highest rate in 30 years
  • 15.1% moved to a different state in 2019, a rate that's been increasing steadily since 2006
  • 3.6% moved abroad - a rate that hasn't significantly changed since it fell from 4.6% in 2015

(Source: CPS Geographic Mobility Tables)

Moves by age and gender

  • 9.5% of men and 9.6% of women moved in 2019
  • 20% of Millennials moved in 2019, the highest % among all age groups
  • Only 3.5% of people aged 65+ moved last year

(Source: CPS Geographic Mobility Tables)

Moves by education

  • 15.3% of people without a high school diploma moved in 2019
  • 17.6% of high school graduates
  • 15.2% of those with some college or an associate degree
  • 8.5% of those with a bachelor's degree
  • 7.3% of those with a post-graduate degree

(Source: CPS Geographic Mobility Tables)

Moves by income

The likelihood of moving varies by income.

  • 11% of people with earnings under $20k moved in 2019
  • 12% of people earning $20-50k moved
  • 10% of people earning $50-75k moved
  • 9% of people earning $75k moved

(Source: CPS Geographic Mobility Tables)

Moves by homeowners vs. renters

Renters accounted for 67% of all moves in the US in 2019. They were a lot more likely to move across state lines, making up 70% of interstate relocations.

  • 20% of people renting a home moved in 2019
  • 5% of homeowners moved in 2019

Renters were even more likely to move abroad, making up over 80% of all moves outside of the country.

(Source: CPS Geographic Mobility Tables)

  • 20% of homeowners haven't moved in the last 5 years
  • 97% of renters moved at least once in the last 5 years

(Source: HireAHelper Customer Survey, Dec 2019)

Frequency of moves

On average, Americans move 11 times in their lifetime.

(Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • 85% of people moved at least once in the last 5 years
  • 75% moved once or twice in the last 5 years
  • 6% moved once every year
  • 4% moves multiple times each year

(Source: HireAHelper Customer Survey, Dec 2019)

Where are Americans moving?

Top 10 states people are moving into

Check the tables below to see the states that saw more people move into them, versus move out of them. Click through to see how the top 10 cities in our study compare with Census Bureau data, as well as studies by other companies in the moving industry.

(Sources:HireAHelper - Migration Report 2020, US Census Bureau, North American Moving Services, United Van Lines, Atlas Van Lines)

Top 10 states people are moving out of

Check the tables below to see the states that saw more people move out of them, versus move into them. Click through to see how the top 10 cities in HireAHelper and them compare with Census Bureau data, as well as studies by other companies in the moving industry.

(Sources:HireAHelper - Migration Report 2020, US Census Bureau, North American Moving Services, United Van Lines, Atlas Van Lines)

Highest traffic of Inbound and outbound moves, state-by-state

(Sources:HireAHelper - Migration Report 2020, US Census Bureau, North American Moving Services, United Van Lines, Atlas Van Lines)

Top 10 cities people are moving into and out from

(Sources:HireAHelper - Migration Report 2020)

Top 10 states by inbound, cross-state moves

Florida was the number one destination for out-of-state moves, accounting for 1 in 8 (13%) of all moves crossing state lines. Overall, Florida was the most popular destination for out-of-state moves in a whopping 22 states.

(Sources:HireAHelper - Migration Report 2020>)

Florida wasn't just the top destination in HireAHelper Study in 2019, either. According to the migration flows data from the US Census Bureau, the Sunshine State has been the number one destination of all interstate moves between 2005 and 2018.

Florida attracted 7.5% of all interstate moves within the last 14 years. Other top destinations were Texas (7.3%), California (6.7%), and North Carolina and Georgia (4%+), making up a large percentage of all moves across state lines since 2005.

Top city by net moves in each state

What are Americans' reasons for moving?

Broad reasons for moving in 2019

  • 40.4% of Americans moved for reasons related to housing
  • 26.7% of Americans moved for reasons related to family
  • 21.4% of Americans moved for work-related reasons
  • 11.5% of Americas moved for other reasons (e.g., health, education)

Albeit the most common reason, moving due to housing has been on a steady decline since 2012, when nearly half (49.5%) of all moves in America were due to housing reasons.

The 2019 share of housing-related moves was at its lowest since 2008, when it was at 40.1%.

Work-related moves, on the other hand, are on the rise. 21.4% is the highest share of work-related moves in 20 years.

(Source: CPS Geographic Mobility Tables)

Specific reasons for moving in 2019

Fastest growing reasons for moving

Over the last ten years, here are the fastest-growing reasons for moving:

  • 305,000 people moved due to retirement in 2019, +106% versus 2009
  • 173,000 people moved due to natural disaster, +28% versus 2009
  • 733,000 people moved for health reasons, +24% versus 2009
  • 3.7 million people moved due to a new job or job transfer, +17% versus 2009
  • 226,000 of people moved because of climate change, +15% versus 2009

(Source: CPS Geographic Mobility Tables)

Fastest declining reasons for moving

The following reasons for moving declined the most over the last ten years:

  • 278,000 people moved to look for work or due to lost job, -72% versus 2009
  • 936,000 people moved in search for better neighborhood/less crime, -50% versus 2009
  • 2.1 million people moved looking for cheaper housing, -49% versus 2009
  • 1.5 million people moved due to change in marital status, -22% versus 2009
  • 814,000 people moved to attend or leave college, -15% versus 2009

(Source: CPS Geographic Mobility Tables)

Reasons for moving by move type

Varying reasons had an impact on the type of moves people did:

  • 47% of moves within state were housing-related
  • 47% of moves to a different state were for work reasons
  • 52% of moves abroad were due to work-related factors
  • 27% of moves within the same state were due to family reasons

(Source: Porch.com - Migration Motivation, 2019)

Stats about American moves

Average move distance

39.6% of moves outside the county in 2019, including inter-state moves, were under 50 miles. This comes as an increase compared to previous 2018, but lower than in peak year for local moves in 2016, when 42% of all inter-county moves were within the 50-mile mark.

  • The average distance of a house move in America in 2019 was 27.7 miles
  • 50% of all moves were within 25 miles

(Source: HireAHelper - Migration Report 2020)

23% of inter-county moves were 500 miles or longer. The share of these 500+ mile moves is slowly declining, hitting a peak of 26.2% in 2011.

Medium-distance moves (50-199 miles) have been on the up. 22.5% of all intercounty moves in 2019 landed in this interval, the highest rate in 15 years, when they were at 24.5%.

(Source: CPS Geographic Mobility Tables)

Average move cost by type of help and distance

Americans that move entirely by themselves spend an average of $660 on a move.

  • $273 if it's a local move
  • $576 if it's a medium-distance move
  • $1,921 if it's a long-distance move

People who move with hired help for loading and unloading tend to spend $910.

  • $523 for a local move
  • $826 for a medium-distance move
  • $2,171 for a long-distance move

Those that move with hired helpers for both labor and driving typically spend $2,568.

  • $1,300 for a local move
  • $3,000 for a medium-distance move
  • $6,000 for a long-distance move

(Source: HireAHelper - Moving 101)

Average move time by type of help and distance

It takes an average of 6 hours to plan a house move in the United States, and 5 hours if you're using a moving company to help with loading and unloading.

On the day of the move, Americans typically spend:

  • 12 hours if they're moving all by themselves
  • 3 hours if they have movers to help with loading and unloading
  • 1 hour if they have help with labor and driving

The typical packing time for a house move in America is 13 hours.

(Source: HireAHelper - Moving 101)

Most common day of week to move

The most common day of week to move in the United States is Saturday, with 21% of all moves taking place on that day in 2019. The least common day to move? That would be Sunday, with 10%.

  • 13% moves took place on a Monday
  • 13% - on a Tuesday
  • 13% - on a Wednesday
  • 13% - on a Thursday
  • 17% - on a Friday
  • 21% - on a Saturday
  • 10% - on a Sunday

(Source: HireAHelper - Migration Report 2020)

Most common month and season of the year to move

The most common moving month is July, with 12% of moves taking place that month. The least common month to move is December, with only 3% of moves happening on the last month of the year.

Summer is the most common season to move, with 35% moving during the warm season. Winter is the least common time for a move, with only 16% of people moving in the winter months.

(Source: HireAHelper - Migration Report 2020)

Stats about the moving industry

Number of companies operating

  • 7,000 moving companies are in operation in the United States.

(Source: American Moving & Storage Association)

Number of people employed

  • 122,600 people are employed in the moving industry
  • Annual payroll is $3.6 billion

(Source: American Moving & Storage Association)

Number of vehicles used

  • A total of 50,000 trucks are circulating in the moving industry
  • 64% of them are tractor units for pulling semi-trailers
  • 36% are straight trucks

(Source: American Moving & Storage Association)

Moving companies by size

  • 47.8% of moving industry companies employ fewer than 5 people
  • 91.5% of moving companies employ less than 100 people

(Source: American Moving & Storage Association)

DIY transportation market

When Americans moved without hiring movers, these are the companies they went to:

  • 57% moved using U-Haul
  • 12.3% moved using Penske Trucks
  • 12.3% moved using Budget Trucks
  • 7% moved using PODS
  • 2.6% moved using U-Box

(Source: HireAHelper Labor-Only Report)

Moving labor market

When Americans hired moving labor, these were the most common choices in 2019:

  • 60% contacted movers directly
  • 27% relied on U-Haul's MovingHelp.com
  • 5.8% used HireAHelper
  • 7.2% used all other services (e.g., Handy, TaskRabbit, SML, etc.) combined

(Source: HireAHelper Labor-Only Report)