grand central station

The continuous shifts in the American economy in combination with the current recession have forced people to pack their bags and move for service-related reasons. The total number of residents moving from one state to another has considerably decreased over time, but the recent data have shown a clear pattern of states that residents are fleeing this year.

The 36th annual study of consumer migration pattern by United Van Lines (moving company) has been released. An analysis of about 125,000 moves across the forty-eight continental states during 2012 has been included in the report. This annual study provides an advanced, representative picture of the moving patterns throughout the country. Listed below are the top ten states people fleeing this year.

1.  New Jersey

Number of people left the state 3,925
Percentage of moves (outbound)in 2012 62.3%


2. Illinois

Number of people left the state 5,931
Percentage of moves (outbound)in 2012 59.5%


3. West Virginia

Number of people left the state 418
Percentage of moves (outbound)in 2012 57.9%


4. New York

Number of people left the state 5,441
Percentage of moves (outbound)in 2012 57.7%


5. New Mexico

Number of people left the state 1,313
Percentage of moves (outbound)in 2012 57.6%


6. Michigan

Number of people left the state 3,123
Percentage of moves (outbound)in 2012 57.5%


7. Connecticut

Number of people left the state 1,991
Percentage of moves (outbound)in 2012 56%


8. Maine

Number of people left the state 634
Percentage of moves (outbound)in 2012 55.8%


9. Kentucky

Number of people left the state 1,886
Percentage of moves (outbound)in 2012 55.3%


10. Wisconsin

Number of people left the state 2,405
Percentage of moves (outbound)in 2012 55%


At number one, New Jersey is showing the highest number of people moving out as compared to other states. A total of 6,300 moves have been tracked last year in the state, out of which 62% were outbound.

According to Michael Stoll (Professor plus chair of the Public Policy Department at the University of California, Los Angeles), there has been deindustrialization in New Jersey for a long time now, since manufacturers are moving their businesses from Northeast to West and South. As New Jersey is tied to New York, the increasing housing costs might also be playing a significant role in pushing people out of the state.

Stoll explained that the consistent migration trend towards the Sun Belt states from Frost Belt ones is based on a number of causes. For one thing, the current economy is a key push factor for Frost Belt residents, particularly the ones who live in hard-hit areas, such as Michigan. Detroit, the largest city of the state, has shown the highest rate of metropolitan unemployment in the US. In fact, it is more than double the national average.

Simultaneously, Stoll explained that the local employment trends in combination with the substantially high living costs forces dispatched workers to search for places with more opportunities.