Americans Are Fleeing Illinois And Moving To...Idaho?

Every year, roughly 14% of the US population moves from one state to another, according to Census Bureau data. But after a careful analysis of the data from 2018, North American Moving Services published its latest report on American migration patterns...and it contained some surprising conclusions.

For example, while Illinois was once again the top state for outbound moves (thanks, we imagine, to its dysfunctional state government, high taxes and massively underfunded pensions), the top state for inbound moves was...Idaho?

A quick glance at the data reveals a familiar pattern: Americans are leaving high-tax blue states in favor of red states with low taxes and low cost of living.


Here are some additional takeaways from the report (text courtesy of North America Moving Services):

Northeastern states

Until this year, Connecticut has consistently been in the top 8 of outbound moves since 2013. It was #1 in 2013 and #2 in 2017. Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey have also made the list of outbound moves consistently since 2013. Massachusetts and Rhode Island have both gone back and forth in having more inbound or outbound moves over the years.

Southern states

South Carolina was in the top 3 of inbound moves starting in 2011, then started to slip down starting in 2016. They were still in the top 4 but lost their top ranking as the state with the most inbound moves. North Carolina beat South Carolina for the first time in 2016. They kept their rank in 2017 for inbound moves until falling back down below South Carolina in 2018. Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Texas remained constant in the top 8 from 2013-2017 for inbound moves. Tennessee, Texas and Florida held their spot in the top 8 list for inbound moves in 2018. Overall, the Southern states have had more inbound moves than some of the other regions.

Midwestern states

Illinois has consistently been in the top 3 positions of outbound moves since 2013, getting the #1 position 4 times. It may not be surprising due to the fact Illinois is one of the highest tax burden states. Michigan has been on the top 8 list of states with the most outbound moves since 2011. Iowa consistently had more outbound than inbound moves until 2017, when it had more people move out of the state than in the state. However, in 2018, Iowa had more inbound moves. Minnesota and Ohio have stayed constant, having more outbound moves than inbound. Over the years, Wisconsin has gone back and forth in having more inbound or outbound moves.

Western states

In 2013 and 2014, Idaho wasn't in the top inbound states. Then in 2015 it was #1. It remained #1 in 2016 and slipped to #2 in 2017. Based on the most recent Census data, Idaho is currently the nation's fastest growing state, with its population increasing 2.2% between July 2016 and July 2017. Now, in 2018, Idaho is back up to #1 for inbound moves. This is not overly surprising to also know that Idaho is one of the least tax burden states which may be a contributing factor. Oregon, Arizona and Colorado have consistently been in the top 8, with Arizona #2 for 3 years and topping at #1 in 2017. The western states also have had more overall inbound moves than the Midwest and Northeast.