The States That Had The Most People Move In Or Leave In 2020

Inbound and outbound percentages are a great way to see where Americans are migrating around the country yearly. That’s why United Van Lines does an annual migration study. The results for 2020 found that Americans tended to head westbound and southbound, largely for work reasons. Read on to see what states had the highest percentage of people coming in or heading out.

New York: 66.9% Outbound

A woman stands solemnly in time square.
Garin Chadwick/Unsplash
Garin Chadwick/Unsplash

According to United Van Lines’ records, almost 70% of the state’s movers headed out to new horizons. The top reason for leaving was due to employment opportunities elsewhere, followed by for retirement purposes.

Despite New York being a state where coronavirus wreaked havoc early into 2020, only 5% of those leaving the state said they did so for health reasons. The majority of those leaving the state were age 55 or older and almost half of them reported making $150k a year or more.

New Jersey: 69.5% Outbound

A woman rides a ferry from New York.
Ana Itonishvili/Unsplash
Ana Itonishvili/Unsplash

New Jersey beat New York by 3% in terms of how many movers were seeking to leave rather than enter the state. About a third of those leaving stated that retirement was their primary reason.

It follows that almost 70% of those who moved were age 55 or older, and about half of the total movers also make $150,000 or more a year. The second most common reason for leaving was family-related.

Illinois: 66.4% Outbound

A man sits on a ledge in downtown Chicago.
whoislimos/Unsplash
whoislimos/Unsplash

Illinois’ outbound rate was just shy of New York’s, with 66.4% of movers leaving the state rather than moving in. About a third of these migraters said it was for their job, while around a quarter stated family and another quarter or so listed retirement as their primary reason.

Despite the top reason being employment, about 30% of these movers were aged 65 or older. Almost 70% of those who left make more than $100,000 a year.

Connecticut: 63.5% Outbound

A young lady sits on a field in Connecticut.
Nicolas Bartos/Unsplash
Nicolas Bartos/Unsplash

Connecticut saw 63.5% of its movers head out of the state with an almost equal amount stating that retirement or their job was the top reason. There was exactly the same percentage (21.54%) of those leaving who stated that family or lifestyle was their primary reason.

The minority reason for leaving Connecticut was due to health. About half of those who left make $150,000 or more a year and more than 60% were aged 55 or older.

California: 58.7% Outbound

A woman walks her dog near the Hollywood sign.
Roberto Nickson/Unsplash
Roberto Nickson/Unsplash

America’s golden state experienced more people moving out than in, with a 58.7% outbound rate in 2020. The top motivator for doing so was split between family reasons and for job purposes, which together made up about 60% of movers’ responses.

A little less than a quarter of those who left California with United Van Lines said that retirement was their main reason. These individuals ranged in age, with about a third being 35 to 54-years-old and a little more than half aged 55 or older.

Massachusetts: 56.6% Outbound

A woman give a thumbs up while walking down a Boston alley.
Dayne Topkin/Unsplash
Dayne Topkin/Unsplash

Massachusetts had an outbound rate of 56.6% in 2020, with the top reason being related to a job. The second and third motivators were tied between retirement and family, with a quarter of movers picking each.

About a fifth of those who moved said it was for lifestyle reasons, which is high compared to the other states listed so far. There was roughly an equal amount of movers aged 35 to 54 as there were those aged 65 and older.

Maryland: 55% Outbound

A lady points to a ferris wheel in Maryland.
Karina Carvalho/Unsplash
Karina Carvalho/Unsplash

Of the 55% of movers who left Maryland, about 42% of them told United Van Lines that their primary reason was for a job. Another 27% stated retirement, while about a fifth of these movers said it was due to family.

About a third of those who left the state had an annual income of $100k or less, and close to the same amount were aged 55 to 64. There was also a little more than 30% of movers aged 44 and under.

Ohio: 56.1% Outbound

Man stands by a river in Ohio.
Scott Hashier/Unsplash
Scott Hashier/Unsplash

Ohio’s outbound rate from 2020 was 56.1%, with almost half of these movers stating that their job was the primary reason for the move. The next most likely reason was family (22%) followed by retirement (19.4%).

Like many of the other states, those aged 65 and older were the most common age group among movers. About 43% of those moving out of Ohio in 2020 have an annual income of $150,000 or more, compared to just 8% who make less than $50,000 a year.

Louisiana: 52.7% Outbound

A woman stands on a rooftop in New Orleans.
Zohre Nemati/Unsplash
Zohre Nemati/Unsplash

A little less than 53% of Louisiana’s movers were headed out of the state, and the overwhelming majority were doing so for job purposes (72.8%). The second most popular reason was family, and less than 7% selected either lifestyle or health.

Being that so many left for career purposes, it follows that more than half of those who left the state were aged 44 and under. Still, 47% of those headed out of Louisiana in 2020 made more than $150,000 a year.

North Dakota: 56.7% Outbound

A woman watches the sunset.
Anders Wideskott/Unsplash
Anders Wideskott/Unsplash

56.7% of North Dakota movers were leaving the state, and more than half of them stated a job as their primary reason. About a fifth listed lifestyle as their reason, while retirement, health, and family tied as the third most common answer.

The most common age ranges was also nearly tied, with 27.27% being aged 35 to 44 and 27.28% being 65-years-old and up. About 44% of those who left the state made between $100,000 and $150,000 annually.

Kansas: 58.6% Outbound

A man watches the sun set over Kansas City.
jotoya/Pixabay
jotoya/Pixabay

In 2020, Kansas’ outbound rate was 58.6%, with almost half of those leaving stating that their job was the top reason. More than a quarter of the people heading out listed family and their primary reason.

22.8% stated that the decision to leave Kansas was tied to retirement, which makes sense considering almost a third of those moving out were aged 65 or older. Roughly the same about had an income of $150k or more, but a fifth of said movers bring home half that much annually.

Pennsylvania: 53.3% Outbound

A woman crosses a street in Philadelphia.
James Harrison/Unsplash
James Harrison/Unsplash

Pennsylvania is unique in that almost a fifth the those who elected to leave the state in 2020 were aged 18 to 34! Still, the most common age group was those 65 and older, which comprised 27% of those leaving the state.

53.3% of Pennsylvania’s movers were leaving rather than entering the state, and almost half of them listed work as their top reason why. Most those leaving had an income of $150k or more, but about a third of said movers make less than $100k a year.

Virginia: 53.1% Outbound

A man stands atop his car at a national park in Virginia.
Dave Herring/Unsplash
Dave Herring/Unsplash

Of the 53.1% of Virginia movers who were leaving the state, the most common age category was 55 to 64-years-old (28.39%). A little more than a quarter were aged 65 and up, while a third of these movers were between 35 and 54-years-old.

It follows that almost 42% stated that work was their main reason for moving, followed by family with 27%. Just under 29% of these movers have an income between $100,000 and $150,000, and about 43% bring home more than that.

Indiana: 53.1% Outbound

A man leans out a parking structure to look at downtown Indianapolis.
Brantley Neal/Unsplash
Brantley Neal/Unsplash

Indiana saw 53.1% of its movers head out of the state in 2020. The most common reason for their departure was a job, which comprised a whopping 57.5% of responses. About a fifth of movers stated retirement and almost the same amount reported family and their primary reason.

Uniquely, the second most common age range for outbound Indiana movers was 35 to 44-years-old. The most common age group was those aged 55 to 64. Still, about a third of those leaving the state had an income of $150k or more.

Mississippi: 51.9% Outbound

A river in Mississippi is surrounded by foliage.
Jp Valery/Unsplash
Jp Valery/Unsplash

Just under 52% of Mississippi movers were headed out of the state, with 71% of them listing jobs as their primary reason. The second most common reasons were family and retirement, which each made up 11.84% of responses.

Unlike most of the other states listed so far, those aged 65 and older were actually the least common among these movers. The most likely age range was from 35 to 44-years-old, and almost a fifth of said movers were 34 or younger. Still, the most common income was $150k or more.

Arizona: 61.6% Inbound

Two men sit on the edge of a cliff at the Grand Canyon.
Westwind Air Service/Unsplash
Westwind Air Service/Unsplash

Arizona boasted a healthy 61.6% inbound rate among United Van Lines movers. The top reason for moving was retirement (37.4%), followed by job (24%). A near even amount picked either family (21%) or lifestyle (19%) as their main reason for moving.

The majority of these movers were aged 65 or older and make $150k plus per year. The second most common income bracket was between $100,000 and $149,999, which comprised about a quarter of those movers.

Idaho: 70.1% Inbound

A man sit in a chair in the middle of an Idaho expanse.
Vidar Nordli-Mathisen/Unsplash
Vidar Nordli-Mathisen/Unsplash

Idaho had the highest inbound rate United Van Lines reported, with 70.1% of the state’s movers heading in. The most common reason for those entering the state was nearly tied between retirement (33%) and family (32%).

Only a fifth of movers listed work as their main reason for entering the state. The most common age range among these movers was 65 and older. About a third of those entering the state made $150,000 a year.

Texas: 54% Inbound

A man looks over a bridge in Austin.
Adam Thomas/Unsplash
Adam Thomas/Unsplash

Among Texas movers, 54% were headed into the state rather than leaving it. More than half of these movers stated that a job was their top reason, followed by a quarter who selected family.

Unlike many other states, the common age range was largely dispersed among Texas movers. Roughly a fifth of movers fell into each age range category, with 18 to 34 being the lowest (15%) and 65+ being the highest (22%). Still, almost half of these movers had an income of $150,000 or more.

Oregon: 62.5% Inbound

A train stops in Portland.
Zachary Keimig/Unsplash
Zachary Keimig/Unsplash

A little more than 62% of Oregon movers were heading into the state, with about 40% of them stating that their job was the main reason why. 30% stated that family was the top reason, while retirement and lifestyle were almost tied at around 16%.

More than a third of these movers were aged 65 and older and roughly the same amount were aged 44 and under. The most common income was $150,000 or more.

Nevada: 52.4% Inbound

An aerial view shows part of the Vegas strip.
Nicola Tolin/Unsplash
Nicola Tolin/Unsplash

Just over 52% of Nevada’s movers were headed into the state. The top reason was for work, followed closely by retirement, and family and lifestyle were almost tied with around 23% of movers selecting both choices.

About a third of movers were aged 65 and up, and around a quarter fell into the 45 to 54-years-old age bracket. Almost 40% of the state’s inbound movers made $150,000 or more in 2020, followed by just under a quarter who made between $100,000 and $149,999.

North Carolina: 60.2% Inbound

A couple walk down a city street in North Carolina.
Emma Frances Logan/Unsplash
Emma Frances Logan/Unsplash

North Carolina had an impressive 60.2% inbound rate, with 37.4% stating their work was the top reason behind the decision to move. The second most common reason was family, which comprised 27.9% of movers.

While age 65 and up was the most common bracket (31.3%), those aged 55 to 64 was right after with almost 30%. More than 45% of movers made $150,000 or more in 2020, and half as many brought home between $100,000 and $149,999.

South Carolina: 64% Inbound

A man sits near a lake in Charleston.
David Martin/Unsplash
David Martin/Unsplash

South Carolina actually outdid its northern counterpart, having an impressive inbound rate of 64%. The top reason for those moving to the state was overwhelmingly retirement (38.5%), followed by job (26.6%).

Still, almost the same number of inbound movers were aged 65 and up (34.6%) and they were aged 55 to 64 (34.26%). With the vast majority of movers falling into the older age categories, it follows that the typical income among inbound movers was $150k or more.

Utah: 54.9% Inbound

A woman smiles in an open expanse in Utah.
J. Meier/Unsplash
J. Meier/Unsplash

Utah had just under a 55% inbound rate, and more than half of these movers stated that their job was the dominant reason. The second most popular reason, selected by 18.5% of responders, was family.

Utah was one of the rare states where movers were pretty evenly distributed across ages. 24% of them were age 65 and older, but an even 22% fell into the 35 to 44 bracket and the same number was aged 55 to 64. Almost half made $150k or more in 2020.

New Mexico: 53.5% Inbound

A woman stands on a windy road in New Mexico.
Gabriel Tovar/Unsplash
Gabriel Tovar/Unsplash

Of New Mexico’s 53.5% of inbound movers, almost a third of them headed to the state for retirement. 26.3% listed work as their top reason for joining the state and around a fifth of movers stated family or lifestyle.

The majority of those moving into New Mexico were aged 65 and older (53%) and less than half as many were aged 55 to 64. Surprisingly, the most common income among inbound movers was $100,000 to $149,999, with only 22% making more than that.

Alabama: 59.7% Inbound

A woman smoothes her hair in an Alabama forest.
Blake Cheek/Unsplash
Blake Cheek/Unsplash

Alabama had just shy of a 60% inbound rate in 2020, and almost half of these movers stated work as their top reason. Uniquely, family trumped retirement as the second most common reason, being selected by almost a third of movers.

The most common age range was also a little younger than we’ve seen, with 30% being aged 55 to 64. More than a third of movers still made more than $150,000 in 2020, and about a fifth reported between $75,000 and $99,999 as their income.

Tennessee: 60% Inbound

A young lady looks out at the Nashville cityscape.
Brooke Cagle/Unsplash
Brooke Cagle/Unsplash

Tennessee had an even 60% inbound rate. Just three percent more people chose work as their top reason over family, which were the most popular choices. Retirement was a tight third, with 26% of movers selecting that choice.

The most common age range was 55 to 64-years-old, followed by 65 and up, which comprised 28% of inbound movers. 34% of movers made $150,000 or more in 2020, and a little more than a quarter fell between $100k and $149,999 annually.

South Dakota: 62.3% Inbound

A woman sits on a rock in Badlands National Park.
Alyssa Teboda/Unsplash
Alyssa Teboda/Unsplash

Where North Dakota had just under a 57% outbound rate, South Dakota saw significantly more people moving in than out. 62.3% of South Dakota’s movers were headed into the state, and exactly half of them stated their job as the reason why.

South Dakota was one of the few states where age 35 to 44 was the most common age bracket (28.6%). In terms of income, the same amount of movers fell into the $75,000 to $99,999 range as did the $150k and up pool.

Washington: 54.5% Inbound

A man rides his bike in Seattle.
Mafer Benitez/Unsplash
Mafer Benitez/Unsplash

Of the 54.5% of Washington movers who were entering the state, an astounding 53% of them listed work as their main reason why. The second most common reason was family, which received half as many elections.

Washington had some of the youngest people moving in countrywide, with the most common age category being those 34 and under. Still, 40.7% of movers headed to the state had an income of $150k or more, and a quarter of them made between $100,000 and $149,999.

Arkansas: 58.5% Inbound

A woman laughs in front of an Arkansas sunset.
Amanda Ware/Unsplash
Amanda Ware/Unsplash

Arkansas had an inbound rate of 58.5%, and almost half of these movers stated that their job was the dominant reason. The second most common reason was family, which just 22% of people selected.

The most common age group moving to this state in 2020 was 55 to 64-years-old. Still, those aged 35 to 44 made up more than a fifth of inbound movers. The most common income was $150,000 or more (36%) followed by $100,000 to $149,999 (28%).

Florida: 59.6% Inbound

An elderly couple plays chess on the coast of Florida.
Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Florida saw almost 60% of its movers head into the state, and 39% of them listed retirement as the top reason why. The second most common reason was for a job (23%), and more than a fifth of movers elected lifestyle as their dominant reason.

70% of those who moved to Florida in 2020 were aged 55 and older. 41.5% of these movers reported an income of $150,000 or more, while roughly a quarter them fell into the $100,000 to $149,999 range.