Three van lines have released their annual studies of interstate moving patterns, and for 2020 California found itself ranked among the leaders for its share of outbound relocations greater than inbound. The statistics from North American Van Lines, United Van Lines and Atlas Van Lines were averaged to show 60% of California moves in 2020 were leaving the state vs. 58% in 2019 and 56% in 2018.
Note that the number of relocations, at least according to two van lines, dropped last year as the pandemic raised economic and health questions nationwide. United and Atlas counts of California moves show combined departures down 10% vs. 2019 while arrivals fell 20%.
California’s poor showing with van moves is the latest relocation data suggesting coronavirus further soured some residents on the state.
State data says that 261,084 more residents left the state than came from elsewhere in the U.S. in the year ending July 1. That’s up from 236,793 in net domestic outmigration the year before and 169,236 in 2018.
That growing migration gap is a key reason why California’s population grew by just 21,000. That 0.05% growth rate is the slowest in California records that date to 1900.
California trends by van line:
North American Van Lines
In California, 64% of the moves were outbound compared to 65% for 2019 and 64% in 2018.
Biggest outflows: Illinois at 69%; New York at 65%; California at 64%, followed by New Jersey at 64% and Maryland at 61%.
Biggest inflows: Idaho at 70%; Arizona at 64%; South Carolina at 63%; Tennessee at 63%; and North Carolina at 61%.
United Van Lines
In California, 59% of the moves were outbound compared to 57% for 2019 and 54% in 2018.
Biggest outflows: New Jersey at 70%; New York at 67%; Illinois at 66%; and Connecticut at 63%.
Biggest inflows: Idaho at 70%; South Carolina at 64%; Oregon at 63%; and South Dakota and Arizona at 62%.
Atlas Van Lines
In California, 57% of the moves were outbound compared to 52% for 2019 and 50% in 2018.
Biggest outflows: New York at 66%; Illinois at 63%; New Jersey at 61%; Louisiana at 60%; and West Virginia at 60%.
Biggest inflows: Idaho at 66%; North Carolina at 65%; Maine at 63%; New Hampshire at 62%; and Alabama at 61%.
U.S. Census Bureau stats show between 2017 and 2019, a total of 1.3 million Californians moved to other states – exits equal to roughly 3% of the state’s almost 40 million residents. Only three states had smaller departures rates per capita.
The same U.S. stats revealed 981,000 came to California from other states in those three years – an 0.8% per-capita attraction rate, the worst score in the nation.