People are always on the move. However, if you watch carefully, you can see patterns emerging. Each year, United Van Lines tracks the inbound and outbound household movements of customers within the continental United States and the District of Columbia. United is the country's largest household goods mover. In 2009, the annual "migration" study tracked over 143,000 interstate household moves. The destinations below are high-inbound locations, ranked from highest to lowest based on the percentage of inbound moves.
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Note: The data only includes activity of United's customers, but the data is often referenced by business professionals for planning and analysis.
1. Washington, DC
The nation's capital topped the list with an inbound move rate of 67.8%. In 2009, just over 1,000 households relocated to the District of Columbia. The city ranked first in 2008 as well. According to the Census Bureau, the city's population growth rate nearly tripled between 2008 and 2009. Although the total number of households moving to the state was low compared to other states, Washington, DC was ranked first based on the percentage of inbound moves. (Learn how these figures are used. Read Macroeconomic Analysis.)
The second most popular destination takes us from Mid-Atlantic to north Pacific. Oregon had a 58.9% inbound move rate. In 2009, almost 2,400 households took the trail to the Beaver State.
United's figures indicate that migration to Southern states slowed down in 2009, making overall moves to the region more balanced than in previous years. Even still, Arkansas ranked third on the list with an inbound rate of 57.7%.
For 18 years, Nevada had been the nation's fastest growing state. According to the Census Bureau, last year the birth rate, not migration was primarily responsible for Nevada's population increase. Slower growth aside, Nevada ranked fourth in 2009 with an inbound move rate of 57.2%.
According to the US Census Bureau, between August 2008 and July 2009, Wyoming had the largest percentage-based population increase in the nation. Wyoming held steady as the fifth highest inbound destination, with a rate of 56.3%.
Commonly popular for its potatoes, Idaho has become a popular destination for new residents. In 2009, Idaho debuted on the high-inbound list with a rate of 56.1%.
Colorado is also new to the top ten list, with an inbound rate of 56%. Denver is a popular destination for new residents, the city was one of six metropolitan areas tracked by the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index to show an increase in year-over-year home prices from December 2008 to December 2009.
Georgia ranked eighth with an inbound rate of 55.6%. The Southern state is home to several growing metropolitan areas including Savannah and Atlanta, the 2008 Forbes best city for singles.
Texas was the ninth most popular destination for interstate relocation in 2009, with an inbound rate of 55.4%. Census estimates show the state actually brought in the largest influx of people. In terms of the total number of moves, Texas ranked second only to California.
10. North Carolina
North Carolina is the only Mid-Atlantic state on the top ten high inbound list, with a rate of 55.4%. From 2008 to 2009, the state dropped from number three to number ten. However according to Forbes, Raleigh and Charlotte remain two of the most popular cities for relocation.
Overall, Americans are moving less, but their moves are important to track - especially during Census years. Migration can influence the availability of funding and resources, as well as the number of elected officials in both their old and new states of residence. Speaking of the old states of residence, the top three states by percentage of outbound moves in 2009 were Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. (Want to invest in real estate? Check out our Real Estate Tutorial and Simple Ways To Invest In Real Estate.)
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