Palmetto State among nation's Top 5 destinations for movers

South Carolina is among the top five destination states that Americans are moving to, according to an annual state by state survey of migration.

Sixty percent of those who used United to move came into South Carolina, while 40 percent left.   File photo

South Carolina is among the top five destination states that Americans are moving to, according to an annual state by state survey of migration.

And that does not surprise business leaders in the state, including one who lauded its quality of life, opportunities and people.

“It’s no surprise South Carolina is in the top five states people are moving to,” Ted Pitts, chief executive of state’s Chamber of Commerce, told the Palmetto Business Daily. “A place is its people and South Carolina has the best people in the world. The quality of life and opportunities that exist in the Palmetto State are second to none. South Carolina truly is the best place in the nation to live, work and do business.”

The 40th annual National Movers Survey carried out by United Van Lines reveals that South Carolina is No. 5 on the list for inward migration.

Sixty percent of those who used United to move came into the state, while 40 percent left. The key reasons for the inward migration were jobs while a significant number, at over 30 percent, were retirees. That was approximately the same number of Arizona and Florida. Close to 20 percent moved to the state for lifestyle reasons.

Most of those leaving -- nearly 70 percent -- did so because of a job elsewhere.

United has tracked state-by-state migration patterns since 1977. Heading the list, and new to the top 10 in 2016, was South Dakota with 68 percent of inbound movers. Nos. 2-4 are Oregon, Vermont and Idaho, all with rates of over 60 percent.

Illinois, New York and New Jersey had the highest outbound rates, all at 63 percent followed by Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

“This year’s data clearly reflects retirees’ location preferences. We are seeing more retirees than ever decide to relocate, and as a result, new retirement hubs are popping up in Western states,” Michael Stoll, an economist and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, said. “Interestingly enough, these retirees are leaving at such a fast pace that the movement of millennials to urban areas in the Midwest and Northeast is being overshadowed.”

Breaking down by region and reason for moving, the Mountain West led the way with retirees, with one in four movers stating they chose to move to this location for retirement reasons.

Regions that saw the most inbound moves for company transfers included the Midwest (63 percent) and Pacific West (62 percent). The region with the largest exodus of residents due to finding jobs elsewhere was the South at more than 60 percent. Across all regions, nearly one in five of those who moved in 2016 did so to be closer to family.

United has tracked migration patterns annually on a state-by-state basis since 1977. The 2016 study is based on household moves moves handled by United within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.

This study ranks states based on the inbound and outbound percentages of total moves in each state. United classifies states as “high inbound” if 55 percent or more of the moves are going into a state, “high outbound” if 55 percent or more moves were coming out of a state or “balanced” if the difference between inbound and outbound is negligible.

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Organizations in this Story

Merit Moving Systems-United Van Lines South Carolina Chamber of Commerce

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