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Where Are People Moving To In America In 2018

HireAHelper Migration Study 2019

If your answer is "drop a few thousand bucks on a Full Service moving company", you're part of the small percentage of people who make up popular migration reports from companies like major van lines.

But if you don't make it rain green every time you move, we think you're part of a way larger group people. You know, the way real people move.

Hats off to the true friends who carry sofas in exchange for pizza. Or the smarty pants who hire movers by the hour to do their heavy lifting. We call hiring professional movers to load and unload your own rental truck or moving container a "Hybrid Move". (Because it's the combo of using your own moving transportation, but calling in the pros.)

We hook people up with tens of thousands of these cost-effective moves every year. Now we're pulling back the curtains to show you what real moving in America looks like.

What Moving Really Looked Like in 2018

  • 10.1% of Americans moved in 2018, or 32.4 million people
  • A little more than half of HireAHelper moves are local (53.3%), with the old and new homes less than 50 miles apart
  • The Longest Moves: Moves that started in North Dakota were the longest, with the median distance of 1,214 miles. South Dakota was close behind with a median move distance of 1,149 miles
  • The Shortest Moves: People packing for a move in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire didn't go far. These states had the shortest median move distances, at 50 miles and 65 miles, respectively
  • Most people (41.6%) move for housing-related reasons.
    > For a better home (16.4%)
    > Establish their own household (12.6%)
    > New job or transfer (10.3%)

The Average Hybrid™ Move Distance

On average, an American Hybrid Move spans 10.8 days and goes 373 miles. Here's the breakdown:

More Than Half of Moves Are Local

Most people start their search in their own backyard. In fact, 53.3% of all the moves HireAHelper facilitated last year had an origin and destination less than 50 miles apart.

Plenty of local movers made the leap to an interstate or even cross-country destination, however. (We hope you're running toward something awesome, instead of away from something lame.)

Americans Move Half as Often as They Did 70 Years Ago

In the past 70 years, the percentage of the U.S. population moving in a given year has steadily fallen. Within the U.S., just over 10% of the population moves each year. That might sound like a lot of "movees"—but compared to moving rates over the past 70 years, people are relocating less than ever. Today, Americans are moving half as often as they did in the 1960s.

Why? This trend may come down to a few factors: Americans are aging up, and as people get older they're much less likely to move. But labor trends also mean local recruiting is pretty effective for employers, so there are fewer people finding and moving for new jobs, per the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

When We Do Move, It's Usually for Housing Reasons

While our motivations for moving can differ, there are some common trends. For example, most people move for housing-related reasons (41.6%).

When looking at more granular breakdown of why people move, here are the top reasons:

  • Housing-related reasons - 41.6%
  • Family-related reasons - 28.1%
  • For a new or better home - 16.4%
  • To establish their own household - 12.6%
  • For a new job or transfer - 10.3%
  • To secure cheaper housing - 7.9%
  • To own or buy their own home - 7.3%

Where Are People Moving? A State-By-State Look

Our moving data shows that more than half of all states (27) had a net gain, meaning more people who purchased moving labor moved into that state, rather than moved out. The other 23 states (plus the District of Columbia) had a net loss.

Here's an overview of the 10 states that had the largest net gains and losses of people.

The 10 States People Are Moving Into

Most movers want to be where the people are: eight of the top 10 states to move to were among the 10 most-populous states (the exceptions were Colorado and Virginia). California, Texas and Florida are the states with the largest populations—and also were the top three states to move to in 2018.

In all, the 10 states people moved into the most accounted for 53.6% of the total moves booked through HireAHelper in 2018.

The 10 States People Are Moving Out From

Then there are the 10 states where most people were moving from. Afterall, it makes sense that you have to leave somewhere to go somewhere, right?

The 10 Most Common State-to-State Moves

Which pioneer trails are most well-worn? A look at our data reveals the 10 most common interstate moves:

  1. California to Texas
  2. Georgia to Florida
  3. California to Arizona
  4. Florida to Georgia
  5. California to Washington
  6. California to Oregon
  7. California to Nevada
  8. Florida to North Carolina
  9. Florida to Texas
  10. Texas to Colorado

California had a net loss of 13.3% more people moving out of the state than moving in, so it's no surprise that it's the state of origin for half of the 10 most common interstate moves.

Top US City Migration Trends

Here's a look at the 100 U.S. cities where HireAHelper had the most booked moves, along with whether the city had more movers moving in or out.

Here's an overview of the 20 cities which had either the largest net gains or losses of movers.

20 Cities People Are Moving to and From the Most

There's plenty of overlap between top moving destinations and origin cities—in fact, the two lists share all but one city each!

Top cities also show us trends by region. Of the 21 cities that were either a top destination or origin (or both), nine are in the western region of the U.S., while nine others are located in the south. (What's wrong with the northeast, people?)

Methodology: HireAHelper's Migration Study analyzed moving data on more than 31,000 Hybrid™ Moves in the U.S., booked through our online platform in 2018, supplemented with 2017 U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Two states, Alaska and Hawaii, were excluded from rankings due to a lack of sufficiently representative move data, though these moves were included in calculating national averages.