According to the United Van Lines study of America’s moving patterns in 2016, more people moved to the country’s southern and western states and more people moved out of states clustered in the northeast and midwest regions. Let’s take a look at the “winners” and “losers” in these interstate migration patterns.

South Dakota topped the “inbound” states with a whopping 68% increase.  Other top 10 inbound states include North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Washington DC in no particular order.

New Jersey ranked the highest among the top 10 “outbound” states with a 63% decrease. Joining New Jersey in the losing column are Kansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Connecticut and Vermont.

The fact that Americans are aging had a big impact on these migration patterns. The data indicates that 1 in 4 moves were due to issues relating to retirement…climate, proximity to family, etc.

Another factor to be considered in these migration patterns deals with state-by-state tax structures.  States with more friendly tax structures and lower rates include Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Indiana, Florida, New Hampshire, and Alaska.  Of those, the most friendly are Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska and Florida in that order.

States with less friendly tax structures and higher rates include California, Vermont, New Jersey, Ohio, Minnesota, Louisiana, Rhode Island, New York, Delaware and Maryland.  Of those, the least friendly are New Jersey, New York, California and Vermont in that order.

Millennial and Gen X population groups moving because of job opportunities may choose to commute to work from one state to another to take advantage of differing tax structures and rates in neighboring states.  For example, a person moving to Washington DC for a new job may choose to live in Virginia to take advantage of a lower individual tax rate.  Or, a person moving to Chicago (individual tax rate of 3.7%) for a new job may choose to live in Indiana (individual tax rate of 3.3%).

Obviously, Americans will continue moving in 2017.  Where they move to and from is anyone’s guess but you can bet that climate, family, job opportunities, quality of life issues and taxes will all be considerations when moving decisions are made.