Where Did People Move in 2022?

Data from two large moving companies show which states gained and lost residents during 2022.

Two moving companies have released data showing which states had the highest influx of new residents as well as which states lost the most residents in 2022.

Both the Allied Van Lines 2022 migration report and the United Van Lines 2022 national movers study are based on data compiled from moves conducted by each of the companies last year.

2022 United Van Lines National Movers Study

According to the United Van Lines study, the states with the highest inbound moves were the following:

  1. Vermont 
  2. Oregon 
  3. Rhode Island 
  4. South Carolina 
  5. Delaware 
  6. North Carolina 
  7. Washington, D.C. 
  8. South Dakota 
  9. New Mexico 
  10. Alabama 

The states with the most outbound moves were the following:

  1. New Jersey 
  2. Illinois 
  3. New York 
  4. Michigan 
  5. Wyoming  
  6. Pennsylvania 
  7. Massachusetts 
  8. Nebraska 
  9. Louisiana 
  10. California 

The United Van Lines study also found that Baby Boomers and Gen Xers accounted for most of the moves last year. Individuals age 55 and older comprised just over half of the moves (55%) according to the study.

Reasons cited for relocating included retirement, being closer to family, lifestyle change, a new job or company transfer, and improved cost of living. The table below lists the top 10 inbound states for each of the reasons cited by the United Van Lines study.

RetirementLifestyle ChangeCloser to FamilyNew Job/Company TransferImproved Cost of Living
1WyomingDelawareKansasOregonSouth Dakota
2DelawareMontanaNebraskaCaliforniaWest Virginia
3South CarolinaSouth DakotaNew JerseyRhode IslandKentucky
4FloridaFloridaMarylandWashington, DCDelaware
5MaineNew HampshireNew HampshireLouisianaTennessee
7New MexicoSouth CarolinaMichiganNebraskaAlabama
8South DakotaVirginiaIowaMissouriSouth Carolina
9West VirginiaColoradoNorth DakotaMinnesotaNevada

2022 Allied Magnet States Report

How does the United Van Lines study compare to the Allied Van Lines report?

These were the top inbound and outbound states according to the Allied report:

Top Inbound States

  1. Arizona
  2. South Carolina
  3. North Carolina
  4. Tennessee
  5. Texas

Top Outbound States

  1. Illinois
  2. California
  3. New Jersey
  4. Michigan
  5. Pennsylvania

The Allied report found that more Americans moved less in 2022 than in 2020 and 2021 because of a combination of economic factors: rising rents, rising inflation and interest rates, and falling wages.

Inflation rose steadily throughout much of last year which led to the highest COLA in 2023 in about 40 years.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that although real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.4% in the last month of 2022, they decreased 1.7% from December 2021 to December 2022.

The Allied report also notes that suburbs were generally more popular than cities in terms of migration patterns. Cities which saw the most outbound moves were New York City, Anaheim, San Diego, Chicago, and Riverside. It attributed the fact that more people now work remotely as to why more people are moving to suburbs and smaller cities and away from the larger cities. Since people can work remotely, it was hypothesized that people prefer to live farther out from larger areas where housing costs tend to be cheaper, there is less congestion, more outdoor activities, etc.

The Allied website also has an interactive map which shows the primary locations where people in various metropolitan areas moved both to and from. In Nashville, TN for instance, most new residents moved from Anaheim, Chicago and Los Angeles and outgoing moves were headed mostly to Dallas, Washington, DC and Tampa.

Retirement, Taxes and Moving

As the United Van Lines report noted, Baby Boomers made up a significant portion of the moves covered by its study. Relocating in retirement is not at all uncommon, and the reasons people decide to move to a new residence after retiring vary.

Weather is a common one cited, and the traditional idea here is to leave a cold climate for a warmer one. Florida was number 4 on the United Van Lines list of states people moved to for retirement. However, Wyoming and Delaware were number 1 and 2, respectively. Some people would no doubt prefer colder climates or an area with different types of activities unique to the region (i.e. hiking, skiing or camping) that might be more conducive to a colder climate.

Taxes can be another reason for moving in retirement. When a person starts living off of a pension and/or savings, his tax situation is likely to change.

Kiplinger recently listed the top 10 states that are most tax friendly to retirees. Some of the states on the list might be a surprise, but keep in mind it was looking at it from a tax standpoint only. The top three were Delaware, Hawaii and Colorado. Delaware making the list would seem to coincide with the United Van Lines study.

Hawaii struck me as surprising since it is not a state known for a lower cost of living in my mind. While retirees would spend more there on cost of living in general, Kiplinger said that there were some benefits to living there from a tax standpoint if you are retired. Social Security income is tax free, the statewide median property tax rate is the lowest in the country, and the sales tax rate is the seventh-lowest in the country.

In contrast to the Kiplinger list, GoBankingRates compiled a list of the most tax friendly states for retirees based on its analysis of data from the Tax Foundation on state tax on Social Security benefits, property taxes and sales taxes. Its list put the top three states as Alaska, Wyoming and Delaware.

GoBankingRates noted that Alaska has no state tax on Social Security income, an effective property tax rate of 1.02% and state sales and average local tax of 1.76%. Retirees opting to live in Alaska would need to really like cold weather though!

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.