Where is America moving? 2015 Migration Patterns

Atlas Van Lines recently published their annual analysis on migration patterns for 2015.

The 2015 data was released and you can view this info here or at the Atlas Van Lines’ website.



Where is America moving?

Since January 1993, Atlas Van Lines has reviewed and released data on the origins and destinations of interstate (or between states) moves throughout the previous calendar year. The 2015 Migration Patterns study results provide a snapshot of relocation patterns. This year, 20 states, in addition to Washington D.C., registered as balanced, 18 states were outbound, and 12 states were inbound.


States with the highest percentage of inbound moves:

  • Oregon (64%)
  • Idaho (63%)
  • North Carolina (61%)
  • Alaska (60%)
  • North Dakota (59%)

States with the highest percentage of outbound moves:

  • Hawaii (62%)
  • New York (61.8%)
  • Illinois (61.7%)
  • South Dakota (60%)
  • Wyoming (59.5%)


In 2015, the total number of interstate and inter-province moves reached 77,705, up from 76,979 in 2014. In addition, regional trends show changes occurred in the Northeast, West and Canadian provinces, with the most significant changes taking place in the South and Midwest.



Other migration trends:


Northeast Region

The Northeastern states saw three major changes from 2014 to 2015, with Maine and Rhode Island going from balanced to inbound and New Hampshire went from an inbound to balanced. The remainder of the states did not undergo any status change in 2015. New York and New Jersey have been outbound for more than 13 years.

South Region

The Southern region experienced four changes among three states and Washington, D.C., with Alabama going from balanced to inbound, and Louisiana shifting from balanced to outbound. Mississippi and Washington, D.C. both changed from inbound to balanced.

Midwest Region

The Midwestern states experienced a major shift to outbound moves, with Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota going from balanced to outbound in 2015. Missouri, however, shifted from outbound to balanced. Similar to 2013 and 2014, North Dakota was the only state in the region to register as inbound.

West Region

The Western states experienced two changes in 2015, with Alaska going from balanced to inbound, and Hawaii shifting from balanced to outbound. Wyoming was the only other outbound state in the West region, with the majority of the Western states registered as balanced.

Canadian Provinces

Seven of the 10 Canadian provinces remained outbound, including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan. The three additional provinces, including Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, shifted from outbound to balanced in 2015.


How is a state classified?

Each state/province has a threshold value, which is the total number of shipments multiplied by 0.55 (for example, in a state with 100 moves, at least 55 of them would have to be outgoing to classify the state as outbound). A state/province is considered:

  • Outbound when outbound shipments exceed the threshold.
  • Inbound when inbound shipments exceed the threshold.

For an infographic on the results, visit the 2015 Migration Patterns Infographic.