Hello, goodbye! Why people move to and from Minnesota

If some Minnesotans are fleeing the state for whatever reason, it’s OK. There are people to replace them.

United Van Lines’ annual survey of people moving in and out of each state shows that Minnesota makes neither the top 10 list of states where people are moving out, nor the the top 10 list of states were people are moving to. We’re just sort of average. People move in, about the same number of people move out.

Of course, there are other moving companies out there so the data can’t be called scientific; it may not even be representative.

“These findings accurately reflect not only where Americans are moving to and from, but also the reasons why,” said Eily Cummings, director of corporate communications in a press release.

But the 3,000 moves to or from Minnesota in 2018 put the state in 22nd place. Nearly 49 percent of those were people moving out; 51 percent were people moving here.

Only people 65 or older are moving out (24.43%) in greater numbers than moving in (20.22%). That’s not entirely surprising given old people’s love of warm climates and not paying taxes on Social Security. But what is surprising is that so many are moving here. The survey doesn’t break down the reasons why by age group but it’s most likely “family” given that it’s the #1 reason for moving to Minnesota, according to the survey.

Vermont seems to be the hottest state where far more of United Van Lines’ business is people moving in than moving out. South Dakota makes the top 10 at #9 although the firm only handled 381 shipments in the state in 2018.

Wisconsin just missed the top 10 of states where people want out, finishing at #37. The gap between older people moving out vs. moving in is much greater there than Minnesota.

  • Jeff C.

    I wonder why the columns add up to more than 100%. (Not enough to do more than post my wonderment here, though.)

    • Maybe people cited multiple reasons for moving?

      • Jeff C.

        I thought of that, but it says “primary” reason and you can only have one primary reason.

    • Brian Simon

      Lies, 32%
      Damn lies 33%
      Statistics 36%

    • John

      Huh. And it’s not like it could be rounding uncertainty either. They’re WAAAAY off.

      Well, I think we can throw out that study.

    • Jim in RF

      Besides the math, the underlying data are biased. They only count the households affluent enough to use a moving company (and a fancy one at that), which certainly isn’t very representative.

  • jon

    US census bureau estimates this same data:

    And if I’m reading their chart right (not certain I am, and my quick addition in this case is probably not beyond reproach), then in 2017 MN had a net influx of people (100K or so)

    I didn’t check all the other states to see what their numbers were, perhaps that still makes us middle of the pack.

  • AL287

    I’ve moved in and out of Minnesota 4 times in the last 15 years all of them for work or family reasons (divorce, the Great Recession, an ailing parent and to be closer to my son, a lifelong resident of Minnesota).

    I’ve been back now for 7 years. I love living here for many reasons but besides family connections, it is the climate and quality of life that have kept me coming back.

  • The Resistance

    Anecdotally, most of my friends moved here because of higher education opportunities, then stayed forever.

  • AmiSchwab

    i moved out because of the army. if i had to move back to the states minnesota would be the only choice.

    • MrE85

      After I left the Army, we lived in Evansville, IN for a couple years. When the job dried up, we decided to move closer to my wife’s parents (they lived in North Dakota). Moving to Minnesota turned out to be one of the best decisions we made. We love it here.

      • kevins

        Evansville is close enough to Kentucky to afford some sightseeing, and then there are the open pit coal mines. Other than that and an occasionally good basketball team…not so much.

        • MrE85

          Southern Indiana has some nice attractions of its own, such as New Harmony and Lincoln State Park. That said, we did enjoy some visits to Churchill Downs and Mammoth Cave.

          • kevins

            Great German food at Jasper IN..The Schnitzelbank Restaurant…hope you had time to get there.

  • Ben Chorn

    I thought this map was funny given your previous post

  • Rob

    I came for schooling and employment, and stayed for the grape salad.

    • Guest

      some tidbits just stay in the collective mind 🙂

  • badphairy

    This is the journalistic equivalent of cream of celery soup.

    “Things are changing but we don’t have to care. MN is family and that’s all you need to know, despite the fact that close to half of all people in the U.S. are not part of a “household”, but we don’t need to elucidate further because only families matter. We know this from a minimal selection of one company’s records and we can definitely say that all people are exactly the same as this sample.”

    I’ve moved in and out of the state several times. Never have I used United Van Lines.

    Just MAYBE you’re not capturing the whole story by using the same old source you use every year, to say exactly the same thing, which is nothing.

    • You’ve moved OUT of Minnesota now, though, right?

      • badphairy

        Nope. Why, was that a hope?

    • Had to go check but from what I can tell, out of 16,474 NewsCut posts since 2007, this was the first time the UVL survey has been mentioned.

      • Guest

        16,474 NewsCut posts YIKES that is a lot.

        THEE best comment section because it is monitored by the author.

        Rants just waste my day. NewsCut is where I choose to spend my time.

  • Summra

    You might want to look at the Make it MSP data, especially how professional of color in our region are 77% more likely to leave than our white counterparts.


  • Guest

    Retirees moving out and visiting back here is WHY the MN tax dept spends soooo much effort trying to “show” you are still a resident subject to taxes.