A recent study by United Van Lines of 2019 migration patterns in the United States shows which states people are moving to. According to the study, the top 5 states experiencing the highest rates of inbound migration are:

Top 5 States Growing due to 2019 Migration Patterns

  1. Idaho
  2. Oregon
  3. Arizona
  4. South Carolina
  5. Washington

The state of Idaho moves up from #3 to #1 for 2019 migration patterns as the state with the most inbound moves. The state of Vermont actually experienced a higher percentage of inbound moves than Idaho. However, the study’s focus was limited to states where United Van Lines moved at least 250 families.

Trends Driving 2019 Migration Patterns

Examining a number of local as well as national trends and how these trends impact each state helps explain these patterns. For example, over 45% of United Van Lines’ inbound moves were for baby boomers, ages 55-74. What are the trends driving 2019 migration patterns?


Many of Idaho’s inbound movers were aged 55-74. Movers in this age range are from the baby boomer generation, and are moving for retirement reasons. For most retirees, Idaho is seen as a tax-friendly state that does not tax social security income. However, other forms of income are taxable. Balancing this out is the relatively low property taxes in the state. Additionally, Idaho has a “circuit breaker” that lowers property tax bills by up to $1,320 for homeowners who meet specific criteria, including:

  • Seniors age 65 or older
  • Own and occupy their home
  • Health and ability issues
  • 2019 income less than $30,450

State Economic Performance

The forecast for Idaho’s economic performance continues to be positive. A major contributing factor is population growth due to 2019 migration patterns. Also, the state has a strong job market with a diverse employment base. The personal income growth for Idaho is projected at or above 4.5%. As a result, increasing discretionary income leads to higher levels of purchasing power and upward growth in local jobs.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Idaho is 2.3% lower than the US average, according to Sperling’s Best Places. 2019 migration patterns show that people often move to places with lower costs of living. Residents of Idaho benefit from generally lower costs in several categories including groceries, health, utilities, transportation, and miscellaneous costs.

However, with the increasing population, housing costs are rising in Idaho. The Idaho market is seen as “Very Hot” according to Zillow. Home prices have risen over 10.1% in 2019, and Zillow predicts another rise of 5.8% for 2020.

What Do 2019 Migration Patterns in the United States Mean for Employers?

Employers in the states of Idaho, Oregon, Arizona, South Carolina, and Washington benefit from 2019 migration patterns that draw an increasing number of new residents. Expanding industries produce increasing job opportunities. As a result, communities grow and need services such as real estate, health programs, and insurance. Demand for employees may be particularly strong especially during tight labor markets.

What should Employers do?

Employers in locations that benefit from 2019 migration patterns in the United States should review their company’s growth plans and requirements for jobs across all levels of skill sets. They should also determine how their company’s growth plans will impact the jobs required to meet business plans and goals.

2019 migration patterns in the United States may lead to a growing local population and potential future workforce. Since the nation is experiencing low unemployment, employers should review their talent acquisition and management programs to ensure they remain competitive to attract and retain new hires and transferees. Relocation Management Companies (RMCs) can provide expert assistance to employers to benchmark their relocation policies and add enhancements that attract talent.


GMS’ team of corporate relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients develop relocation programs that attract and retain qualified employees. Our team can help your company determine how to leverage 2019 migration patterns in the United States for talent acquisition and management.

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