Every year, United Van Lines generates a press release about their annual migration study. Its a fun read, but hardly scientific. The report measures inbound and outbound traffic in each state. In other words, how many of their clients are moving into or out of a particular state. They infer validity of their statistics by saying:
As the nation’s largest mover, United holds more than 30 percent of the market, which is nearly double the market share of the second largest carrier.
However, for this report to be truly valid, I think we need to understand the demographics of their client base so we better understand why people are doing what they are doing. When a press release says something like has been shown to accurately reflect without proof, then I am always wary and usually with good reason.
As I said before, its still fun to look at, so lets throw caution to the wind and go with it.
The parameters are:
- “high inbound” (55% or more of moves going into a state)
- “high outbound” (55% or more of moves coming out of a state)
- “balanced” (50-54% inbound or outbound)
No real surprises, in terms of what we would expect to see. Midwest is losing people and parts of the west/southwest/south regions are gaining people.
(Note: to United Van Lines: Michigan is considered Midwest, not Central Northeast and New York is considered Mid-Atlantic, not Central Northeast).
The midwest is struggling with weakening economic conditions from serious problems with the auto industry.
- Michigan leads the pack with 66% outbound traffic.
- New York is second with 59.5% outbound traffic. Upstate New York is still struggling economically and largely missed the housing boom like the New York City region did.
* North Carolina was the inbound leader at 64%
* Oregon (I have been told that its safest state to live in case of a nuclear war. hint: prevailng winds) at 62.5%.