Where People Are Moving: Inbound, Outbound States

Picture of a woman in her living room taping up a moving box stacked upon other ones.

© Catherine Delahaye - DigitalVision / Getty Images

The pandemic has prompted a lot of moves. A new migration study shows an increase in relocations from 2020 to 2021, whether triggered by an increase in remote work flexibility, the “Great Resignation,” a desire to be closer to family, or other reasons.

The newly released 2021 Atlas Van Lines Migration Patterns Study shows 12 U.S. states that were classified as outbound, meaning more people moved out of the state rather than in. Eighteen U.S. states were classified as inbound, where more people moved into the state.

Overall, Maine ranked as the nation’s inbound leader for the first time, following Idaho’s two-year run. Arkansas, Hawaii, Montana, and Florida made the “inbound” list for the first time since 2002, 2003, 2013, and 2016, respectively.

New York was the country’s leading outbound state in 2021 for the third year, according to Atlas’ study. California was also on 2021’s outbound list for the second consecutive year.

The following are 2021’s top 10 inbound locations, according to Atlas:

  1. Maine
  2. North Carolina
  3. Arkansas
  4. Tennessee
  5. Utah
  6. District of Columbia
  7. Idaho
  8. Hawaii
  9. Montana
  10. Florida

On the flip side, the following states are the top 10 outbound places for 2021:

  1. New York
  2. Illinois
  3. Louisiana
  4. New Jersey
  5. West Virginia
  6. Indiana
  7. California
  8. Iowa
  9. Connecticut
  10. Ohio