Where are Americans Moving? Atlas Van Lines Provides Some Answers

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Who better to know where Americans are moving than a company that actually brings them from their old home to their new one? One of those companies is the local and international mover Atlas Van Lines. Over the past ten years, Atlas has compiled data indicating the most frequent domestic destinations of its customers. Bearing out statistics presented in How Money Walks, the direction of those migrating businesses and families is clearly from high tax states to those with more favorable tax climates. As more people settle in these states, businesses flourish, jobs are created, and standards of living improve.

In its report, Atlas has determined that the number-one destination for the past ten years has been the state of North Carolina, with over 3,400 newcomers in 2013 alone. From 1992 to 2010, the Tar Heel State also gained $25.12 billion in adjusted gross income (AGI), from exactly the places you would expect: the high-tax states of New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania and California.

North Carolina has become America’s hub for tech research and development. Research Triangle Park, located near Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, is home to more than 170 Fortune 100 global companies including Bayer, IBM and Cisco. North Carolina can also lay claim to being ranked fourth best place to do business in the US in 2013, according to surveys compiled by Forbes.com.

Next we have Washington, D.C. Though obviously not a state, D.C. has seen the second largest influx of people over the past ten years. The continued growth of government and associated job openings explains a large part of this inward migration trend.

On the opposite side of the coin, having the largest net outflow of people and businesses over this same ten year period, is the state of Indiana. Based on IRS data, between 1992 and 2012, Indiana lost nearly   $3.6 billion dollars in AGI. While gaining some wealth from New York, New Jersey and California, almost $ 4 million went directly to North Carolina alone, with the balance going to Florida, Arizona, Texas and Tennessee. These four states, by the way, all have no personal income taxes.

Next on the naughty list is the state of New Jersey, showing a continued net outflow since 2004. Nearly 1,900 truckloads of household and business goods left the Garden State in 2013. Many factors come into play here, including high taxes, and being ranked an unimpressive 32nd on the list of best places for business.

And finally on the negative side of the equation is the state of Ohio. Atlas shows that nearly 3,000 deliveries left Ohio, representing over $18 billion in lost AGI. Similar to Indiana, some wealth came from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and the outbound wealth also went to the Carolinas, Texas, Arizona and Florida. Ohio is certainly not a magnet for new business, and is ranked just slightly above New Jersey at 29th best place for business.

When analyzing this data, you need to remember that Atlas is only one of hundreds of competitors in the moving and storage business. It would be interesting to see if other big names like United, Mayflower, Allied and North American would show the same results. Based on data derived from numerous other sources, it is highly likely that they would.