Washington is among the nation’s leaders in attracting more new residents than it is losing based on an assessment of some 66,000 interstate and cross-border household-goods relocations during 2019.
The study, conducted annually since 1993 by Atlas Van Lines, ranks Washington second based on the percentage of inbound moves (60.5%) vs. outbound moves ― trailing only Idaho, which recorded an inbound-move mark of 62.3%. North Carolina, New Mexico and Tennessee, ranked third through fifth, respectively.
“Washington jumped numerous spots on the inbound leader list from last year, when it ranked seventh according to 2018’s moving data,” a press release announcing the findings. Washington recorded 3,278 inbound moves and 2,141 outbound moves in 2019, according to the Atlas Van Lines Migration Patterns study.
A total of 26 states were rated as “balanced,” meaning that inbound and outbound traffic was roughly equal. Leading in the outbound-move category was New York, with 62.7% of its relocations involving outbound moves, followed by West Virginia, 62.5%; South Dakota, 61.7%; Illinois, 61.4%; and Louisiana, 59.6%.
"The West region housed three of the leading inbound states for 2019 (Idaho, Washington, and New Mexico)," the Atlas study states. "Colorado became inbound [dominate] for the first time in 10 years, while Oregon lost its inbound [dominate] status for the first time since 2012." Washington has recorded more inbound than outbound moves annually since 2014.
Overall, Atlas says the data shows there were fewer overall interstate and cross-border moves in North America in 2019 (66,308), compared with the prior year (71,092). The company’s study is based only on moves handled annually by Atlas.