Moving Facts and Statistics

Did you know the average American moves 12 times during their lifetime? Or that Montana and Maine have the highest ratios of inbound movers to outbound movers among the 50 states? Or that the moving industry generates 900 million cardboard boxes and 90 million pounds of packing paper each year?

Here at All Around Moving, we have our finger on the pulse of the moving business. It’s a huge business, with a total market size of $19 billion and over 18,000 moving companies.

This blog post will give you some thought-provoking facts and statistics about the state of moving in the U.S. It will describe what, where, when, why, and how Americans move, and current trends in moving and the moving industry.

How Many People Move Each Year?

  • According to the latest available Census data, nearly 28 million people, of 8.4 percent of the population, move in the U.S. each year.
  • The percentage of people who move each year has steadily decreased from a high of 20 percent in 1984 to eight percent today.
  • Today, about half as many people move annually than in the 1950s.
  • Young adults are the most likely to move. People under 35 years old are 85.9 percent more likely to move than those 35 and over. Only five percent of people age 55 and over move each year.
  • Of people age 18-24, 32 percent move each year, along with 26 percent of people age 25-40, 10 percent of those age 41-56, and five percent of people age 57 and over.
  • Renters are more likely to move. In 2020 and 2021, 16 percent of renters moved, while 5.8 percent of homeowners did.For comparison, in 1990, 32.5 percent of renters moved, while 9.1 percent of homeowners did.

Where Do People Move?

  • The majority of moves are local: 59.17 percent of people move within the same county,

while 21.3 percent move to another county within the same state, 17.29 percent move to another state, and 2.24% move to another country.

  • Overall, the average moving distance in 2021 was 922 miles. Moves of 100 miles or less were the most common, accounting for 28.5 percent of moves. Moves of 1,000 – 2,000 miles were the next most common at 23.7 percent.
  • The South has had the largest net migration over the past five years, with an influx of almost 2,000 people daily. The Northeast has had the lowest net migration, with a loss of 137 people daily.
  • The most common moves in 2021 were from California to Texas, California to New York, New York to Florida, California to Florida, and California to Washington State.
  • The most searched moves from California to New York are from San Francisco and Los Angeles to New York City.
  • Florida, Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina had the highest number of incoming moves in 2021. New Jersey had the highest number of outgoing moves, followed by California, Illinois, and Connecticut.
  • These states had the highest ratios of inbound to outbound moves in 2021: Montana, Maine, Florida, South Carolina, and Alaska.
  • Texas grew in population by four million from 2010 to 2020, the most in the country.
  • Nearly a quarter of moves into Texas in 2022 were from California.
  • For those moving after retirement, Florida is the top destination, followed by Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. Mesa, Arizona had the highest net gain of seniors in 2019.
  • The COVID pandemic saw a mass migration from urban areas to suburbs or the countryside. Almost five million Americans left cities for suburban or rural areas in 2020.The majority of those who moved in 2020 were age 20-29. About 18 percent of people in this age group relocated in 2020.

When Do People Move?

  • Summer is by far the most popular time to move. Nearly 45 percent of moves take place between May and August. June is the busiest month, with 12 percent of moves, while 11 percent take place each in July and August.
  • Monday is the most common day of the week to move with 19 percent of moves; Wednesday and Friday are the next most common days with 16 percent and 17 percent, respectively.
  • It takes 13 hours to pack up the average household for moving. Most moves are for one- to three-bedroom homes.

Why Do People Move?

  • Moving to a larger home to accommodate a growing family is the main reason for moving, at 35 percent of moves. Other common reasons for moving are to be closer to relatives (28 percent), moving to a safer area (25 percent), and relocating for employment (18 percent).
  • A survey found the top consideration when people choose a moving destination is quality of life (29.7 percent of respondents). Other major factors are cost of living (21.3 percent), being close to family or friends (19.2 percent), proximity to a job or school (13.5 percent), and climate (9.1 percent).
  • The majority of movers have experienced a recent major life event. The most common are buying a vehicle, gaining new employment, or graduating from college.
  • In 2021, only 226,000 Americans moved after retirement. Those who retired before the age of 65 were 64 percent more likely to move than conventional retirees.
  • In 2021, surveys found 26 percent of the population had relocated for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Many who relocated during the pandemic returned. About 25 percent of people who moved because of COVID came back to the same residence they had left.

The Gigantic Moving Industry

Although the number of people moving has declined, millions of people still choose to move each year. This accounts for the size of the moving industry. It is one of the main businesses in the country, employing over 114,000 people and with a projected growth rate of 3.2 percent per year.

  • The moving industry has a yearly revenue of $86 billion.
  • The combined annual payroll of the industry is around $3.6 billion.
  • Moving industry workers contribute an estimated $9.42 billion in tax revenue each year.
  • There are currently 18,500 moving companies in the U.S. The majority are small businesses with fewer than five employees.
  • In 2021, the moving and storage industry directly supported 186,382 jobs, in addition to indirectly supporting 121,968 jobs. It paid $12.8 billion in wages.
  • The self-storage industry generates $39.5 billion in revenue annually.
  • There are about as many storage facilities in the U.S. are there are Starbucks, McDonalds, Dunkin’ Donuts, Pizza Hut, and Wendy’s restaurants combined.
  • Annual moves in the U.S. consume 900 million cardboard boxes, 90 million pounds of packing paper, 30 million rolls of tape, 345,000 tons of food, and 353 million gallons of fuel.

This blog post has given you some insight into moving and the moving industry in the U.S. If you’re planning or considering a move in the next year, you’re far from alone. Moving can be stressful and challenging if not done right. Let All Around Moving make your move painless and carefree.

We hope you found this blog post, Moving Facts and Statistics, useful. Be sure to check out our post 4 Things to Consider Before Moving From Cities to Suburbs for more great information.

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