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More people moving to Indiana than moving away

Cars pay fares at a toll plaza on the eastbound Indiana Toll Road just west of the Chicago border in Hammond. A study by United Van Lines found slightly more people are moving to Indiana than moving away.

People don't flock to Indiana for the weather or for thickets of gleaming skyscrapers where they can make it big.

But for the first time in years, the United Van Lines migration study has found more people are moving to Indiana than moving away.

The St. Louis-based moving company, which has tracked which states people move to and from for the last 40 years, has found that Indiana has either been significantly outbound or roughly balanced in the number of residents moving in and out every year since 1980. More people have been moving away from the Hoosier state than arriving from out of state over the last several years.

But the recently released 2018 National Movers Study found 51.3 percent of state-to-state moves in 2018 were to Indiana, as compared to 48.8 out of the state. That's a significant improvement over 2017 when 54 percent of the state-to-state moves in Indiana were outbound, while only 46 percent were inbound.

The study found 56.6 percent of people who moved to Indiana did so because of a job, while 67.3 percent of the people who moved away also did so for a job.

Those between 18 and 34 years of age, or 65 and older, were the most likely to move to Indiana, while the young age group also proved to be the most likely to leave, according to United Van Lines. People making more than $150,000 a year were the most likely to move to Indiana and to move away, followed in both cases by those earning $75,000 to $99,999 a year.

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The annual study found that New Jersey had the highest out-migration in the country, while Vermont and Oregon had the most inbound migration relative to outbound migration.

Illinois had the second-highest outbound migration rate in the country with 65.9 percent of movers leaving.

“As the nation’s largest household goods mover, our study allows us to identify the most and least popular states for residential relocation throughout the country, year after year,” said Eily Cummings, director of corporate communications at United Van Lines. “These findings accurately reflect not only where Americans are moving to and from, but also the reasons why.”

The study found nearly half of the people who moved last year did so because of a new job or company transfer. People continued to leave the Midwest, an ongoing trend over many years.

“The data collected by United Van Lines aligns with longer-term migration patterns to southern and western states, trends driven by factors like job growth, lower costs of living, state budgetary challenges and more temperate climates,” said Michael Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Unlike a few decades ago, retirees are leaving California, instead choosing other states in the Pacific West and Mountain West. We’re also seeing young professionals migrating to vibrant, metropolitan economies, like Washington, D.C. and Seattle.”

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.