Americans are Drifting South – and to Vermont




Ever since the founding of the 13 colonies, Americans have been known to pick up stakes and relocate to some new exotic destination to call home. Perhaps it’s to get more land, a more affordable lifestyle or for a better climate. Regardless, the trend is just as hot today as in 1849’s California gold rush.


In 2021, many Americans took stock of their lives and decided, it’s time to make a move.


From moving closer to family, starting a new job, or moving somewhere more affordable, American’s are still leaving their home states for greener pastures.


United Van Lines has been tracking the moving habits of their customers in the U.S. since the 1970s. With over 500 locations across the continental US their data includes 48 states and the District of Columbia.


In its most recent moving trends study, United Van Lines tracked where their customers were moving, and it reported that - by percentage of inbound movers - the #1 state people were moving to is Vermont! A whopping 74% of shipments in Vermont were inbound! It seems that many were itching to be part of the Green Mountain State in 2021 and be one with their forest landscapes.


In fact, the full top 10 list shows some interesting trends about the states people are moving to. The top 10 list is compiled based on the percentage of total shipments in and out of the state. Over the last 10 years United Van Lines has moved over 1 million people.



Moving in:

  1. Vermont

  2. South Dakota

  3. South Carolina

  4. West Virginia

  5. Florida

  6. Alabama

  7. Tennessee

  8. Oregon

  9. Idaho

  10. Rhode Island

Six of the ten states are some of the least populated states in the country, indicating that those making a move are trying to get away from larger populations. Trying to get away from the crowds for tranquility


Many of the most popular relocation destinations are in the South, which has a reputation for having a lower cost of living than the rest of the country. You can’t blame people for wanting some sun and a cheaper lifestyle.


While those were the top 10 states drawing people in, here are the top 10 states where people were itching to get out:


Moving Out:

  1. New Jersey

  2. Illinois

  3. New York

  4. Connecticut

  5. California

  6. Michigan

  7. Massachusetts

  8. Louisiana

  9. Ohio

  10. Nebraska


According to the United Van Lines study, New Jersey has topped the outbound states for the last 4 years. It seems that for people living in The Garden State, the grass really is greener on the other side.



The study showed that people leave their home states for many different reasons, including just wanting a lifestyle change. The number one state, according to the poll, that people moved to for a lifestyle change was Idaho.


For many “city slickers,” moving to Idaho seems like a drastic move, but their mountainous terrain and national parks have a lot of appeal for those wanting to get back in touch with nature.


Florida, as well, continues to live up to its reputation for attracting the most Retirees. The study showed that Florida was #1 on the list of States that people retired to in 2021.


Of people who gave health reasons as the specific cause to move to that state, shockingly, New Jersey topped that list.


The migration patterns of Americans are varied and endless. However, studies like these offer a great insight into why people choose to face the pressures of moving to another state, and if it’s worth it.


As the late great John Denver sung, Take Me Home Country Road!

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