Where are people moving? The most popular (and unpopular) U.S. cities

The AMSA (American Moving & Storage Association) recently released Industry Trends, a report on data and trends in the moving industry. Sound boring? You got it – lucky for you I dug up the good stuff.

Here are the data points I looked at:
Inbound = People moving in to a city
Outbound = People moving out of a city
Corporate (NAC, in moving lingo) = People whose move is paid for by their company
Household (COD, in moving lingo) = People paying for their own move

Most Popular Cities

City % of inbound moves
Charlotte, NC 66.8%
Denver, CO 58.4%
Austin, TX 58.1%
Dallas, TX 57.7%

Most Unpopular Cities

City % of outbound moves
Detroit, MI 63.3%
Albany, NY 61.4%
Buffalo, NY 60.8%
San Bernadino, CA 60.1%
Fresno, CA 60.0%
New York, NY 58.7%
Cleveland, OH 58.2%
Philadelphia, PA 57.2%
Los Angeles, CA 56.8%

While I’m sure Detroit at the top of this list needs no explanation, California and New York cities might surprise you. However, these are simply reflections of the current economy with high unemployment rates expected for both states in 2009. Other factors include high prices of diesel and gas, conditions in the housing market (especially California), declining tax revenues and state budget deficits (again, California).

Corporate Moves (NAC) vs. Residential Moves (COD)

Lots of corporate in and corporate out:
Chicago, IL (53.0%, 50.5%)
Philadelphia, PA (52.0%, 51.4%)

Lots of residential in, corporate out:
Atlanta, GA (49.0%, 52.9%)
Dallas, TX (45.9%, 52.6%)

Lots of corporate in, residential out:
New York, NY (53.0%, 56.3%)
San Francisco, CA (51.0%, 56.1%)

Lots of residential in and residential out:
Phoenix, AZ (58.85%, 58.8%)

Again, we see New York and California with a big portion of corporate sponsored moves in to NYC and SF, along with lots of private residential moves out (presumably people who’ve had to move out because of the high cost of living and competitive job markets).

Atlanta and Dallas show popularity among residential moves, probably because they are a bit more affordable compared to the other major metropolitan areas.  Finally, Phoenix shows lots of  residential moves in and out, most likely due to its high senior population and affordable real estate.

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AMSA Industry Trends


6 responses to “Where are people moving? The most popular (and unpopular) U.S. cities

  1. Pingback: Charlotte - #1 Most Popular City to Move to Right Now - North Carolina (NC) - City-Data Forum

  2. Joelle Gilbert

    Great tips!!!!!

  3. Wow. I’m surprised how many are moving out of NY and LA. Maybe its the economy. I love Austin though!

  4. After enduring many years of ice, snow, high winds, and sleet in Kansas, we moved to the Austin area. Why people continue to live in cold climates and bad economic conditions is a amazing. Central Texas is wonderful: great weather and great finances.

  5. Interesting information. I left the Dallas/Ft. Worth area a couple of years ago due to being laid off 4 times in 5 years by companies who went out of business. Dallas touts good employment, etc., but I don’t think they give correct stats on unemployment in Texas. I found it to be very high and could not figure out why they kept encouraging people to move there. I have many friends that exhausted their unemployment benefits and now are in real trouble there. I moved because of it.

  6. Thomas McDermott

    Me, I’ll never move out of Sarasota, FL .. just tooooo beautiful for a rather small city.

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