Janet Eastman | The Oregonian/OregonLive By Janet Eastman
on January 03, 2017 at 11:00 AM, updated January 03, 2017 at 8:58 PM
Moving vans are on the roll and many continue to head to Oregon, according to a migration study released by Atlas Van Lines.
The moving company found that Oregon continues to be a top relocation spot, ranking second in inbound moves, percentage-wise.
That’s no surprise to the people already living here. After topping 4 million people for the first time in 2015, new residents have been arriving at a rate not seen since the 1990s.
Last month, the Census Bureau reported that Oregon had grown by 1.71 percent in the past year, making it the sixth-fastest-growing state by percentage. Its 69,000 new residents also make it the ninth-fastest-growing state in absolute numbers.
Most of the state’s population growth came from migration, which tends to follow the health of the economy. Oregon’s job market has been growing faster than the nation overall.
Each January, moving companies Atlas and United Van Lines reveal the percentage of inbound and outbound moves in each state to define trends in nationwide migration, which has slowed slightly, according to Atlas.
Oregon has been classified since 2012 as an inbound state, that is, more out-of-staters are renting moving vans to come here than residents leaving, according to Atlas.
In 2016, 62 percent of Oregon’s moves were into the state, according to Atlas’ latest findings. In 2015, Atlas found that 64 percent of moves in Oregon were inbound, propelling it to the top moving destination.
United Van Lines’ 40th Annual National Movers Study, which also tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns over the past year, found South Dakota narrowly overtook Oregon, which held the top spot for the previous three years as the nation’s Top Moving Destination. Vermont holds the second position, with Oregon rounding out the top three.
The influx of new residents has been one factor in rising home values and low vacancy rates among rentals. Prices in the Portland metro area grew 10.3 percent year over year, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index. The city saw the second-largest increase among the 20 metro areas included in the index, following Seattle’s 10.9 percent jump.
Nationwide in 2016, the total number of interstate and interprovincial moves by Atlas Van Lines reached 75,427, down from 77,705 in 2015. For the fifth consecutive year, the states with the highest number of total moves were California (14,995), Texas (11,973) and Florida (10,231).
“We are cautiously optimistic that we will see an uptick in 2017 for all types of moves, but we are aware of the economic headwinds that lie ahead of us,” said Jack Griffin, CEO and Vice Chairman of Atlas World Group, in a news release. The company has conducted the migration study since 1993.
Here are the 10 states with the highest percentage of inbound moves and outbound moves as reflected in moves handled by Atlas. This is the first year Idaho has been the study’s inbound leader. Wyoming topped the outbound list back in 2012 as well.
Top inbound states:
Idaho (63 percent)
Oregon (62 percent)
North Carolina (61 percent)
Tennessee (60 percent)
Alaska (59 percent)
Washington (58 percent)
Michigan (57.2 percent)
Washington D.C. (57.1 percent)
Florida (56 percent)
New Hampshire (55.1 percent)
Top outbound states:
Wyoming (63 percent)
Nebraska (61 percent)
Illinois (60 percent)
Delaware (59.5 percent)
Louisiana (59 percent)
Connecticut (58.9 percent)
New York (58.7 percent)
West Virginia (58.6 percent)
Indiana (58 percent)
South Dakota (57.6 percent)
View the full results of the 2016 migration patterns, along with a nationwide map and annual histories for each state.
– Janet Eastman