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The United States’ population currently sits over 328 million people with California holding the largest populous of people at almost 40 million people. This means over 10% of the US population call California their home, with the city of Los Angeles being home to over 4 million people by itself. The nearest state population closest to California is Texas, which has 28 million people that call the Lone Star State their home.

blue sky with clouds and bird flying overhead

Taken by Selena Hernandez

On average per year, roughly 35 million Americans make a move to a new home, whether it is in the same city and state or out of state completely. Just imagine that everyone living in California except those living in Los Angeles decided to move away; that’s the same number. 35 million Americans make a move to a new home, a new city, a new state each year. Such a high number of moves and it is still the lowest moving rate since 1948 when the Census Bureau started tracking moves.

The 35 million Americans that make the decision to move each year breaks down into some fascinating numbers and figures.

• 60% of movers remained in the same county for their move. Most of the time the same county means the same city. This means that these movers changed their living situations but not their complete surroundings. This is relatable as the stresses that come with moving can be outrageous with the addition of having to learn a completely new city or state.
• 35% of movers relocated to a different county, whether in the same state or totally out of state. These movers are the fearless, a complete change to their home, surroundings, something totally new; a new city or a new state to call home.
• The remaining moving population moved abroad. These are your warriors, taking up residence in new countries.

Keeping with the 35 million movers each year; why do they move? Reasons range from new or better job to buying a home, changing living situations or college.

Top Reasons Why Americans Move:

• Almost 20% of the 35 million American moves are a relocation to be in a new or better home. With the advancements in housing and all the amenities new homes are built with, this is an obvious reason to relocate.
• A little over 15% of the moving populous are making the move to better their living situation. Finding a more cost friendly housing situation or making the move from apartments to a house; bettering one’s monthly expenses is the number one reason for a move. Also, renting an apartment is usually meant to be short term living. People don’t want to continue to pay someone else their money. They want to put that rent money towards their own home instead of an apartment company.
• Over 10% of the moving population are taking charge of their professional career and are moving for a new job or with a job transfer. If your personal life can sustain the move to help boost your professional career, this type of move can definitely be worth it.
• 6% of the 35 million American movers are moving to be closer to their workplace or to have an easier commute. This is common in larger cities like Los Angeles, Houston, and New York City. Traffic is terrible and no one likes a 90 minute car ride to work; or three buses and a train to and from their work each day.
• A change in marital status makes up 5% of the American movers each year, whether it’s a divorce, a break-up, or moving in together.
• 3% of moves are to attend or leave college.
• Another 3% of American movers make the move to put themselves and their families in better neighborhoods with less crime or criminal activity.

How are you going to move your items?

A recent study by the American Moving and Storage Association showed their data on 3 million interstate movers. These 3 million people moved their belongings from one state to another. Here is breakdown of how these movers chose to move their items.

• 650,000 of the 3 million moves or roughly 22% used professional movers. There are many different professional moving companies. These companies offer services like long-haul moves, boxing and wrapping items and furniture, and physically moving your items out of the old home and into the new one. Keep in mind that these services can cost you a pretty penny. Be prepared to pay for the work that these companies provide.
• 33% of the 3 million movers used a rental truck like Budget, Penske or U-Haul. These options can get pricey as well, with several key factors causing the prices of these rental trucks to fluctuate. When using these types of trucks for an interstate move, schedule ahead, in advance, and as early as you can. This plays a key role in pricing, as well as the time of year the move is happening. Never go with the first price quoted; always compare one company’s price to the other company’s offer. Also, consider taking the insurance that these companies offer. It might be worth the extra money to be able to not have to worry about any damages sustained to the vehicle during your move.
• 1.35 million of the 3 million movers for this study, or 45% of the movers, used their own means to make the move; using their own cars to move or hitting up that buddy who owns a pick up. This is exactly the reason why you do not want to own a truck, “No, I can’t help you move two states away!” This type of mover is working twice as hard to get their move completed without the chunk of money they have to pay to a professional mover or to a rental truck company. However, this mover is going to be more stressed; don’t make the mistake of getting in their way while they are dealing with the stresses of completing their move.

Where are the movers coming from?

Each year that this type of data is collected, the results change. Every year there is a new #1 place that people are moving from. Added to the reasons we have discussed on why people move out of state is the overall cost of living in the city or state that they are moving from. Understandably, the cost of living in certain states like California and New York can be very high, with not only the cost of living but with state taxes as well. Over the past three years of collected data on movers leaving specific states, the Top 10 has fluctuated drastically:

2015 2016 2017
1 New Jersey Illinois New York
2 New York New Jersey California
3  Illinois New York Illinois
4 Connecticut Connecticut New Jersey
5 Ohio Kansas Louisiana
6 Kansas Massachusetts Pennsylvania
7 Massachusetts Ohio Maryland
8 West Virginia Kentucky Massachusetts
9 Mississippi Utah Connecticut
10 Maryland Wisconsin Kansas

Where are the Movers Going?

The Moving to list changes year to year as well and the draw to these states can vary based on the state itself. Some of these states offer perks and bonuses for small businesses. Some have no state income tax, which helps considerably when moving from a state that does. People moving from California to Nevada can save a ton of their yearly income because Nevada does not have state income tax; which is one of the great reasons to move there. The Top 10 states for people to move to changes just as much as the list of states that people move from:

2015 2016 2017
1 South Dakota Oregon Idaho
2 Vermont South Carolina Nevada
3 Oregon Vermont Arizona
4 Idaho Idaho Oregon
5 South Carolina North Carolina Montana
6 Washington Florida South Dakota
7 District of Columbia Nevada North Carolina
8 North Carolina District of Columbia Vermont
9 Nevada Texas Florida
10 Arizona Washington Colorado

Moving is Age Restricted:

Dividing up the 35 million movers each year into age groups, the millennials are moving less than that of the same age group from prior generations. Only 20% of millennials reported a move in the past year. The same age group in the year 2000 had 26% report a move in the last year. It seems younger generations want to stay where they are comfortable, which means the sense of adventure could be fading. However, the older a person gets the less likely they are to relocate. The average age of the millions that move each year is roughly 18 to 34 years of age.

The Costs of Moving:

When you become one of the 35 million people who decide to make a move this year, do your homework first. Plan your expenses, be ready for the unexpected, be smart, and most importantly, DON’T PANIC. The average cost of an interstate move is $4,500, while the average cost of an in-state move is $2,500. Don’t forget about deposits on utilities, unexpected expenditures, or other costs you may incur. Moving is a stressful time. When you are stressed, little minute details or problems can become great big issues. Stay calm, and DON’T PANIC. Make a plan for your move, map out your moving options, do your homework, set yourself up to succeed.

Is it time for you become one of the 35 million people that will move in 2019?

*Facts and figures were taken from US Census website and US Population surveys conducted from 2015 to 2018.

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