United Van Lines, the moving and storage company, released its annual report last week on migration within the United States. As if we needed any further proof of the rapid expansion of government under the current administration, the Washington DC metro area has now topped the company’s survey of regions people are moving to every year since 2009.
From the survey:
“The United Van Lines Annual Migration study shows the movement of people from frost belt to more sun belt states in the South and West,” said Michael Stoll, economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “While big states such as California, Texas and Florida have more total moves than other states because of their sheer size, other high inbound states such as Washington, D.C., Oregon and the Carolinas may be attractive places to move because of their lower housing costs, more temperate climate, diversified and growing economies, as well as maturing manufacturing bases and high technology clusters.” (Emphasis added.)
Hey, you gotta go where the jobs are… Oh, and United Van Lines? DC is not, ahem, a state…
Also worth noting: All of the top ten states that people are migrating out of — New Jersey, Illinois, West Virginia, New York, New Mexico, Michigan, Wisconsin, Maine, Connecticut and Kentucky — are states that do not have right-to-work laws (with the exception of Michigan, though it only adopted the law last month). Correlation isn’t causation, of course, but that is still kind of striking.
Three of the top five inbound regions — Nevada, North Carolina and South Carolina — do have right-to-work laws, while DC and Oregon do not.
The United Van Lines survey only gives the top five inbound states while the top outbound ones are ranked up to ten. That is presumably due to its scoring system which classifies states as “high inbound” only if 55 percent or more of the moves are going into a state (“high outbound” states are the reverse). That is, those five are apparently the only high inbound regions.