Arizona has inched into the top 10 states with more people arriving than leaving, according to the 40th annual survey carried out by one of the country’s largest moving firms.
The state is 10th on the list compiled by United Moving Lines, which also surveyed its customers for the reasons they moved and their income. United said Arizona was a new arrival in the top 10.
Fifty-seven percent of total movers were inbound in 2016, the state-by-state run down of migration patterns reveals. Of those, more than 40 percent move to the state for a job, while just over 30 percent were retirees. About 20 percent moved because of family.
The survey also reveals that more than 50 percent of those leaving did so because of a job in another state.
Garrick Taylor, senior vice president of government relations at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is encouraged by the survey.
“That Arizona is a top 10 inbound state is encouraging,” Taylor told Arizona Business Daily. “It sends a message that we’re making the right moves to attract new residents who will help power our economy.”
He said the flow of retirees revealed that “high-tax, high-regulation states are exporting residents of all ages.”
“Folks in the prime of their careers as well as those who are retired are going to seek places where their dollar will go further,” Taylor said.
Addressing the more than 50 percent of those leaving doing so because of a job elsewhere, Taylor said policymakers in the state, from Gov. Doug Ducey to the legislature, have made “improving Arizona’s competitive standing a top priority.”
“We’re doing great work on enhancing our tax and regulatory environments and, as evidenced by the cornerstone of Gov. Ducey’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year, our education system,” Taylor said. “All of these items are positioning the state for big job wins and continued growth.”
United has tracked state-by-state migration patterns since 1977. Heading the inbound list, and also new to the top 10 in 2016, was South Dakota with 68 percent of movers. Also high on the inbound list are Oregon, Vermont, Idaho and South Carolina, with rates over 60 percent. Jobs, retirement and family were the main reasons for moves both in an out of all those states.
At the top of the outbound list were Illinois, New York and New Jersey, 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.”
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 to be closer to family.