SALT LAKE CITY — Despite being among the fastest growing populations in the country, a new study ranks Utah among the top states from which people are leaving.
The Beehive State ranked No. 9 on the list of most moved from states in 2017, according to the National Movers Study by United Van Lines. The report indicated that 56 percent of moves were outbound in 2017, meaning more residents moved away from Utah than migrated into the state.
The distinction made Utah the only Western state to fall into the list of top 10 "outbound states." The study also showed the Northeast saw more residents leaving than moving in, as approximately 57 percent of all moves were outbound.
The results came from United Van Lines’ annual National Movers Study that follows state-to-state migration patterns of customers during the last calendar year. Overall, the report showed an ongoing trend of Americans increasingly heading west and south, though ironically Vermont ranked as the top relocation destination for people moving for the year.
The report showed more people moving to the Western mountain region and Pacific Coast states, while greater numbers were leaving Midwest and Northeast locales. More people left Illinois in 2017 than any other state — with 63 percent of moves coming from the Land of Lincoln, the report stated.
“This year’s data reflects longer-term trends of movement to the Western and Southern states, especially to those where housing costs are relatively lower, climates are more temperate and job growth has been at or above the national average, among other factors,” said Michael Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “We’re also seeing continued migration to the Pacific Northwest and Mountain West as young professionals and retirees leave California.”
Nevertheless, the Green Mountain State of Vermont had the greatest inbound migration for the year — at almost 68 percent.
The study was based on household moves handled by United Van lines within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C., with report rankings based on the percentage of inbound and outbound relocations from the number of total moves in every state, a news release stated.
The data contradicted the state's more recent growth trend. After topping 3 million residents in 2016, local researchers expect the Beehive State's population to continue its climb for years to come, driven in large part by Utah's economy — one of the strongest in the nation.
According to data from the University of Utah's Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, the state’s population is projected to increase from 3 million in 2016 to 5.5 million in 2065. In the meantime, Utah is expected to eclipse the 4 million population mark in 2034.