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Facts about moving in America

By April 15, 2019June 29th, 2021No Comments
Facts about moving in America


Are you one of the millions of Americans planning a move? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 35.5 million U.S. citizens move every year. People are relocating for various reason such as job transfer, a new job or they’re planning their retirement. Consumers are using different methods of transportation from DIY (do-it-yourself) options to hiring professional movers.

But where are people moving? In this article, we will provide facts about the most common reasons people move, where they go and how they get there. The information below are facts about moving in America, moreover, we will provide some insight into the trend of the market. Check out this article on the history of the moving industry.


There are many reasons why people chose to move out of state, but according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the main reason is wanting a better life. Whether it be a nicer home, community or getting a better job we’re always striving to better selves. Also, we want our kids in better schools and to get a better education. Here are the top ten states with the highest percentages of outbound moves.



We’ve compiled a list of the top ten states where people are migrating. Some of the destinations may seem surprising, but American’s are moving there for a good reason. Some of the below-mentioned states are showing excellent growth opportunities, and although some may lack the scenic views that California has to offer, the lifestyles are much more manageable. Check out this blog post about millennials moving to these 5 states.

Moving Industry Facts



Hiring a moving company is an expensive luxury, so it comes as no surprise that DIY (do-it-yourself) moving is the preferred choice for Americans. According to the American Moving & Storage Association, there were over 1.35 million DIY moves last year. Out of the 3 million interstates moves those are significant numbers. So it looks like most people rather load up their car and drive. Check out this article on why people leave California.

How people chose to move


There are over 7,000 moving companies in the U.S. which operate at 13,900 location. They primarily provide moving and storage for both household goods and office moves. The moving companies in America are made up of van lines, independent companies, international moving and auto transporters. Each much be licensed by the DOT to operate.

The moving industry employs 122,000 workers with an annual payroll of over $3.6 billion. The moving industry is mostly made up of smaller companies who employ less than five employees, and only 8.5 percent of the companies employ 100 or more employees.

In 2017 76 percent of moves were household goods whereas an additional 24 percent were computers, copier, and other electronics. Roughly 44 percent of moves were individuals, 39 percent corporate, 16 percent military and 1% federal government.

Facts about moving in America: The Market (US Census Bureau 2015-16)

Source: AMSA

The U.S. Citizens who move (annual percentage): 11.2%

Americans who move (annual number): 35.1 million, or 15.3 million households @ 2.3 persons per household

Of all Americans (314,992,000):

  • 9.3% moved within the same state
  • 1.5% moved to a different state
  • 0.4 moved from the US to another country

Of Americans who moved (35,138,000):

  • 82.7% moved within the same state
  • 13.4% moved to a different state
  •  0.36% moved from the US to another country

Reason for moving (US Census questionnaire for 2015-16):

  • Wanted new or better home/apartment — 17.4%
  • To establish their household — 12.2%
  • New job or transfer — 10.8%
  • Other family reason — 10.5%
  • Wanted cheaper housing — 8.2%
  • Other housing reason — 6.7%
  • To be closer to work/easier commute — 6%
  • Wanted to own home, not rent — 5.9%
  • Change in marital status — 4.8%
  • Other reasons — 4.4%
  • To attend or leave college — 3.2%
  • Wanted better neighborhood/less crime — 3.1%
  • Health reasons — 1.8%
  • To look for work or lost job — 1.5%
  • Other job-related reasons — 1.2%
  • Foreclosure/eviction — 0.9%
  • Change of climate — 0.8%
  • Retired — 0.7%
  • Natural disaster — 0.1%

Moves without a claim (percentage):

More than 80% of all moves have no claim filed (consistent for more than a decade — has been as high as 82%), and almost all (99.99%) claims are resolved before arbitration. Filed claims can include customer-packed shipments which may have contributed to damages.