Top States People Are Moving To

Curious Where People Are Moving? Here Are The Top 10 States To Move To Based On United Van Lines Data

Looking for a new state to call home? United Van Lines 45th Annual National Movers Study is here to help! 

United  Movers Study looks at how Americans are moving. We review our data from both outbound moves and inbound moves to determine migration patterns happening across the country.

2021 was an interesting year for people on the go. The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the way people thought about work and home. Thanks to the rise in popularity of remote work and shifting priorities, the top states people moved to in 2021 looked a little different than in years past.   

Compared to the 2020 Movers Study, United Van Lines saw more people move to be closer to their family (34.5%), enjoy a different lifestyle (14.4%) or retire (18.3%). 

Fewer people moved in 2021 for jobs (34.6%) or health reasons (5.8%). 

Growth in lifestyle moves and decreases in job moves may go hand-in-hand. With remote work becoming more popular, some people may be working for a company in a different state, but choosing against relocation. Others may see remote work as a flexible opportunity to live where they’ve always wanted to be.

According to our moving trends data, below are the top states people were moving to and moving from in 2021:   

Top States People Moved To*:

  1. Vermont (74%)
  2. South Dakota (69%)
  3. South Carolina (63%)
  4. West Virginia (63%)
  5. Florida (62% ) 
  6. Alabama (62%)
  7. Tennessee (62%) 
  8. Oregon (61%) 
  9. Idaho (60%) 
  10. Rhode Island (59%)

Top States People Moved From*:

  1. New Jersey (71%)
  2. Illinois (67%) 
  3. New York (63%)
  4. Connecticut (60%) 
  5. California (59%) 
  6. Michigan (58%)
  7. Massachusetts (58%)
  8. Louisiana (57%)
  9. Ohio (56%) 
  10. Nebraska (56%) 

[*Percentages are based on total moves for that state. For example, 74% of moves in Vermont were inbound, so 26% were outbound to make 100%.]

What Makes These States So Popular?

We took a peek into each of the top 5 states to find out.


Top States to Move To - Vermont landscape - United Van Lines

With an inbound moving rate of 74% and an outbound move rate of only 26%, Vermont had the highest percentage of inbound moves in 2021. 

Most people move to Vermont for a company transfer or new job opportunity, as 43% of movers cite this as the reason for choosing Vermont. Employers in Vermont are dedicated to their social and environmental impact, making the state a wonderful place to work. 

The second most popular reason for moving was for family (31%). For those wanting to start a family, Vermont has made maternity and paternity leave mandatory for most businesses. The state is also very safe, with a crime rate of almost 50% lower than the United States average. 

It’s no wonder the Green Mountain State is so inviting to movers. Between its beautiful displays of the four seasons and its many lakeside communities, new Vermonters find themselves immersed in a culture that accommodates all interests, especially those involving outdoor activities.

South Dakota

In 2021, Mount Rushmore State ranks second on our list of top inbound moves. Sixty-nine percent of moves in South Dakota were inbound. Famous for being home to Mount Rushmore, South Dakota offers residents the opportunity to explore historical moments in American history. 

The state’s cost of living is below the national average, making it affordable for most residents. The main reason people moved to South Dakota was for family (37%). 

Jobs were the second most popular reason for the move, with 32% of new residents citing they moved for professional reasons. South Dakota has an unemployment rate of 2.7%, which is 1.5 points below the United States national average.

South Carolina

With the state’s peaceful coastal scenery and rich history, South Carolina has become one of the top states to move to in 2021. Sixty-three percent of moves in the state last year were inbound.

People weren’t moving here for work; they were coming to relax. Thirty-six percent of movers cited retirement as the reason for their move, making South Carolina the 2nd most popular state for retirement. The world-renowned golf courses and beachside retirement homes make South Carolina an easy choice for retirees. 

Many new residents of South Carolina came for family reasons (29%). South Carolina’s cost of living is below the national average, making it an affordable place to live. There are many great parks and historic sites, such as the Fort Sumter National Monument, which make for exciting family adventures. To learn more about South Carolina, check out our state guide.

West Virginia

West Virginia’s country roads took many movers home this year, with an inbound moving rate of 63%. From views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and scenic views of the Ohio River, West Virginia is a beautiful state with many natural wonders to explore. 

For those making the move, the most popular reason was for job opportunities (43%). The state boasts a 4.0% unemployment rate, showing a thriving job market. West Virginia offers industries such as aerospace, automotive and energy. 

Family reasons were the second most popular reason, with 37% of movers citing this as their motivation for the move. Covered with beautiful landscapes and family-friendly activities, all members of the family will enjoy living in West Virginia. The state is also ranked 15th in cost of living, meaning compared to the other 50 states West Virginia is relatively affordable. 



The Sunshine State welcomed many new residents, with an inbound move rate of 62% in 2021. Known for its beautiful weather and sandy beaches, Florida is the most popular destination in the United States for retirement. In 2021, 39% of moves were for retirement. Those retiring in Florida have a high quality of life, endless summers, and may have more money to spend thanks to the state’s tax-friendly policy for retirees. 

The state’s tropical weather and views allow for many changes of scenery. In 2021, the second most popular reason to move to Florida was for a lifestyle change (27%). Want to learn more about Florida? We have a Florida state guide for you.

Where Are You Moving From?

With new job opportunities, closer family connections and retirement on the horizon, people are moving from state-t

No matter where you currently call home, United Van Lines can help make any of these states your new home. As a full-service moving company with agents located across the country. For long-distance moves across the country, our movers will be there to help with packing, storage and transporting your items. 

Or maybe you’re not sold on leaving your state just yet but want to move to a different city. Our interstate agents can also independently help move locally under their own businesses and names with the quality of the United Van Lines brand.  

Ready to Get Moving?