Why is everyone moving to Oregon?

It seems many Americans are falling in love with the state’s lush scenery, creative culture and growing industries. Find out the other top states where people are moving to.

Why is everyone moving to Oregon?
It seems many Americans are falling in love with Oregon’s lush scenery, creative culture and growing industries, according to United Van Lines’ 38th Annual National Movers Study.

The report, which tracks customers’ migration patterns state-to-state during the course of the past year, found that Oregon is the top moving destination of 2014, with 66% of moves to and from the state being inbound — that’s a nearly 5% increase of inbound moves compared to 2013. Arriving at No. 2 on the list was South Carolina (61%  inbound), followed closely in third by its northern neighbor, North Carolina (61%). 

The District of Columbia, which held the top spot on the inbound list from 2008 to 2012 and ranked fourth last year, fell to No. 7 this year with 57% inbound moves. New additions to the 2014 top inbound list include Vermont (59%), Oklahoma (57%) and Idaho (56%). 

The Northeast is experiencing a moving deficit with New Jersey (65% outbound), New York (64%) and Connecticut (57%) making the list of top outbound states for the third consecutive year. 

In a separate survey of its customers, United Van Lines found the Northeast region also had the highest number of people leaving for retirement, with more than one in four respondents indicating retirement as the reason for relocation. The Mountain West had the highest number of retirees moving to the region with nearly one in three individuals surveyed saying they relocated there to retire. 

 “With economic stability growing nationally, the current migration patterns reflect longer-term trends of movement to the southern and western states, especially to those where housing costs are relatively lower, climates are more temperate and job growth has been at or above the national average, among other factors,” Michael Stoll, economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, said. “Unique amenities such as outdoor recreation, arts and entertainment activities, and green space protection likely continue to propel Oregon to the top of the list for the second straight year.” 

United has tracked migration patterns annually on a state-by-state basis since 1977. For 2014, the study is based on household moves handled by United within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. United classifies states as “high inbound” if 55% or more of the moves are going into a state, “high outbound” if 55% or more moves were coming out of a state or “balanced” if the difference between inbound and outbound is negligible.


Moving In

The top inbound states of 2014 were:

  1. Oregon
  2. South Carolina
  3. North Carolina
  4. Vermont
  5. Florida
  6. Nevada
  7. Texas
  8. District of Columbia
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Idaho


The Western U.S. is represented on the high-inbound list by Oregon (66%) and Nevada (57%). Of moves to Oregon, a new job (38%) and retirement (29%) led the reasons for most inbound moves. Nevada remained on the high inbound list for the fourth consecutive year. 

Moving Out

The top outbound states for 2014 were:

  1. New Jersey
  2. New York
  3. Illinois
  4. North Dakota
  5. West Virginia
  6. Ohio
  7. Kansas
  8. New Mexico
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Connecticut