2019 MIGRATION PATTERNS by Atlas® Van Lines

View original article on https://www.atlasvanlines.com/migration-patterns/


Based on 66,308 Interstate and Cross-Border Household Goods Relocations from January 1, 2019 through December 13, 2019.
(Click on individual state/province for 10-year historical data.)

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Where is America Moving?

According to one of the nation’s leading movers, the 2019 Atlas® Van Lines Migration Patterns study found that 26 states registered as balanced—meaning that moves in and out of the states were roughly equal—13 as outbound, and 11 as inbound, in addition to Washington, D.C. The data also showed a decrease in moves from 2018 to 2019. The company has conducted the study since 1993 to track the nation’s interstate (between states), cross-border (U.S. to Canada only), and international (between countries) moving patterns annually as reflected in moves handled by Atlas.

The 10 U.S. states with the highest percentage of inbound moves and outbound moves are included in order below, with Idaho ranking as the study’s inbound leader for the second time since 2017. New York was the country’s outbound move leader in 2019, a designation it most recently held in 2014.


  • Idaho (62.3 percent)
  • Washington (60.5 percent)
  • North Carolina (59.3 percent)
  • New Mexico (59.0 percent)
  • Tennessee (58.5 percent)
  • Rhode Island (57.8 percent)
  • Arizona (57.7 percent)
  • Alabama (56.9 percent)
  • District of Columbia (56.9 percent)
  • Texas (56.1 percent)


  • New York (62.7 percent)
  • West Virginia (62.5 percent)
  • South Dakota (61.7 percent)
  • Illinois (61.4 percent)
  • Louisiana (59.6 percent)
  • New Jersey (57.9 percent)
  • Delaware (57.3 percent)
  • Nebraska (56.6 percent)
  • Indiana (56.5 percent)
  • Connecticut (56.0 percent)

In 2019, Colorado became inbound for the first time in a decade, while Oregon lost its inbound status for the first time since 2012 and became balanced. Former balanced state, Texas, achieved an inbound status after spending 2016-2018 as balanced. Additionally, Ohio gained a balanced classification for its first time since 2002. The year’s total number of interstate and cross-border moves in North America reached 66,308, down from 71,092 in 2018.

International Top 10: Destinations & Origins

According to data reflecting the total number of international household moves completed by Atlas World Group International, the top international destinations and origins for 2019 include the following U.S. states and global countries:


  1. Japan
  2. South Korea
  3. Virginia
  4. Saudi Arabia
  5. Texas
  6. Germany
  7. California
  8. United Kingdom
  9. Washington
  10. Maryland


  1. Japan
  2. Texas
  3. California
  4. South Korea
  5. Virginia
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Germany
  8. Washington
  9. Maryland
  10. Florida

Atlas World Group International conducted 7,821 international household goods moves in 2019, up from 6,394 in 2018.



The Northeastern states experienced three major changes from 2018 to 2019, with Maine and New Hampshire moving from inbound to balanced and Rhode Island shifting from balanced to inbound. Rhode Island is also the only Northeast state housed on the top 10 inbound state list in 2019, registering at number six. In addition to being 2019’s outbound move leader, New York has remained outbound for more than 20 years running. The Northeast region registered the same number of outbound states as the Midwest.


In 2019, the Southern region saw two changes from 2018. Texas transitioned from balanced to inbound, a classification it has not held since 2015, and Virginia went from inbound to balanced. The Southern region housed six of the 10 leading inbound destinations in 2019 (North Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, Alabama, Texas, and Washington D.C).


The Midwest registered four changes in 2019, with Iowa and Minnesota shifting from balanced to outbound, and Kansas and Ohio shifting from outbound to balanced. Ohio gained a balanced classification; one it has not held since 2002. The Midwest region registered the same number of outbound states as the Northeast, with Illinois, Nebraska, Indiana, and South Dakota ranking in the top 10. For the third year in a row, the Midwest registered zero inbound states.


For the first time in three years, the Western states fell to the second-highest percentage of inbound moves across the United States, with Idaho registering nearly 63 percent of moves entering the state in 2019. This West region housed three of the leading inbound states for 2019 (Idaho, Washington, and New Mexico). Colorado became inbound for the first time in 10 years, while Oregon lost its inbound status for the first time since 2012.


According to data reflecting U.S. interstate and cross-border moves, eight of the Canadian provinces registered a change from 2018 to 2019, with all eight moved from outbound to balanced. The Yukon Territory shifted from balanced to inbound, while the Northwest Territories shifted from outbound to inbound.

How status is determined

Each state’s or province’s status is determined by its threshold value, which is the total number of shipments multiplied by 0.55 (i.e., in a state with 100 moves, at least 55 must be outgoing to be considered outbound). All other states or provinces in which outbound or inbound numbers don’t exceed the threshold are classified as balanced. Canadian interprovincial and cross-border (from the U.S. to Canada) shipments are both referenced in the study. International moves indicate both states and countries that Atlas World Group International sent the most shipments to from international origin countries in 2019.

About Atlas® Van Lines

Atlas® Van Lines, a national moving company, is the largest subsidiary of Atlas® World Group, an Evansville, Ind.-based company. Atlas World Group companies employ nearly 800 people throughout North America. Over 430 Atlas interstate moving agents in the United States and Canada specialize in corporate relocation, household moving services, and in the specialized transportation of high-value items such as electronics, fine art, store fixtures, and furniture.