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Atlas Moving Trends in 2010

Where Did People Move in 2010?


Every year, Atlas Van Lines conducts some simple analysis on moving trends, that is, where their customers moved in the previous twelve months. Considering we need to wait until a census-year to uncover migration patterns, their report provides some interesting and fun results on where people moved. Here's an overview of the trends they found in 2010.

Some Facts First

  • Number of Atlas moves completed in 2010: 74,541
  • Study period: Sample includes all moves between January 1, 2010 through to December 31, 2010.
  • How are moves defined? Atlas included interstate and cross-border moves for the USA and Canada only. It is important to note that the numbers listed for Canadian provinces includes households moving between the US and Canada, not between Canadian provinces.
  • What are inbound and outbound states and how are they defined? According to Atlas, each state and province has a threshold value. A threshold value is determined by the total number of household moves multiplied by 0.55. For a state to be considered "outbound", the household moves out of the state must exceed the threshold amount. For a state to be considered "inbound", the inbound moves exceed the threshold.

Some Interesting Results

  • Highest Inbound: Washington, DC - Atlas found that Washington, DC had the highest percentage of inbound moves at almost 69%, which means for every one household that moved from the state, 2.2 moved in. This trend has remained steady for five years in a row.
  • Highest Outbound: Ohio - In 2010, just over 4500 moves occurred both inbound and outbound for Ohio. However, outbound moves outranked inbound by almost 60%, with 1.37 times the number of outbound household moves compared to inbound.
  • Other Inbound States: Other states that saw more inbound moves than outbound, include Texas, New Mexico, Alaska, Maryland, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and North Dakota. In Canada, more households moved into Newfoundland than moved out; same is true for the Yukon, although statistically-speaking, Atlas only posted one household move into the territory, while there were no outbound moves.
  • Other Outbound States: Other states that saw more households moving out, include Wyoming, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan and Hawaii. In Canada, all the Western provinces saw more household moving out, which include British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Ontario, too, had more people moving out than in.
  • Neutral States: These are states or provinces that had similar number of moves both for inbound and outbound and include all remaining areas not listed above (there are too many to list here!). In the US the majority of neutral states were located in the West, while Canada's varied with Manitoba and Quebec along with most of the maritime provinces having almost equal amounts of inbound and outbound household moves.

So What Does this Mean?

You can be the judge. The good news is, people are on the move, which in some people's eyes, may be the first sign that the economy is beginning to grow. On the other hand, it may mean that people are simply trying to find opportunities elsewhere.

However you look at it, it's encouraging to know that people continue to seek out other places, to make changes in their lives no matter how difficult moving can be.

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