E-Communicator Article

Atlas Van Lines Migration Patterns Study:
More Balanced States in 2012

According to the 2012 Atlas Van Lines Migration Patterns study, California remains a balanced state for inbound and outbound moves. The Golden State is also the state with the highest number of moves in 2012: nearly 13,000 moves. The second- and third-highest number of moves occurred in Texas and Florida, respectively.


As for U.S. trends, there have been more shifts from inbound states and outbound states to balanced states in 2012. The study found that Southwestern and mid-Atlantic coastal states remain as the most popular destinations, while the Midwest becomes more balanced than years past. Atlas first conducted the study in 1993 to track the nation’s interstate moving patterns.


Six states that were outbound in 2011 are now balanced states, including Massachusetts, Delaware, Louisiana, Missouri, Utah and Wisconsin. Four states that were inbound have shifted into balanced states this year, including Maryland, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Virginia. Wyoming is outbound again after spending 2011 as a balanced state. Previously balanced state New Hampshire is inbound again.


For the seventh consecutive year, Washington, D.C., had the highest percentage of inbound moves, with 63 percent of all moves being inbound. Nebraska and New York beat out Ohio for the highest percentage of outbound moves, with outbound moves accounting for 58 percent of each state’s total.


“This year’s annual Migration Patterns study revealed some interesting changes from 2011’s overall and regional trends,” said Jack Griffin, president and COO of Atlas World Group. “One of the more positive signs of 2012’s results is the shift from the majority of Midwestern states being outbound to a more balanced state. The increase in the number of balanced states/provinces throughout the U.S. and Canada is a promising sign that the economy could be stabilizing.”


In 2012, the total number of interstate, or between states, and inter-province moves reached 73,256. In addition, regional trends show consistency over the past year with fewer significant shifts:


Western States

          The annual study shows that the majority of the Western states remain balanced. Only two states are inbound or outbound – Utah (outbound) and New Mexico (inbound). California has now been balanced for more than 10 consecutive years.


Southern States

          The Southeast remains balanced. Southwest states Texas and New Mexico continue to be inbound states, as well as mid-Atlantic states Virginia and North Carolina. Kentucky remains balanced after becoming a newly inbound state in 2010 and moving back to balanced in 2011.


Midwestern States

          After 2011 showed the majority of its states with more outbound than inbound moves, the Midwest region now has five balanced states – Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, Missouri and Michigan. Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kansas, Minnesota and Nebraska remain outbound. Indiana has been an outbound state for more than 11 consecutive years. No Midwestern state has been classified as inbound for more than 10 years.


Northern States

          The Northern states saw no changes from 2011 to 2012. New York and New Jersey have been outbound for more than 10 years, with Pennsylvania remaining balanced for more than 10 years. Washington, D.C., is the only northern location with more than 10 years on the inbound list.


Canadian Provinces

          Of the 10 provinces, five are outbound – British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Saskatchewan. Alberta breaks its five-year streak as an outbound province, while Quebec moves back to a balanced province. New Brunswick, who has been balanced for three consecutive years, is now inbound. All three territories – Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon Territory – are unclassified; Nunavut was outbound in 2011 and the Northwest Territories was balanced.


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. Shipments noted for Canada are cross-border to the U.S. or from the U.S., not inter-provincial.


To view the full results of the 2012 migration patterns, map and annual histories for each state, visit http://www.atlasvanlines.com/migration-patterns/.

March 2013 - CMSA Communicator

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