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Moving Industry Statistics (2021)

Quick Read

The trends in the moving industry are ever-changing, especially in the past year, taking a look at some of the moving industry statistics for 2020 can help you understand how to position your business in the upcoming year.

Here are the major takeaways from these moving statistics:

  • Increase in moves to be closer to family
  • More moving south and west in the country
  • Increase in those retiring results in acceleration of more long-distance moves
  • More moving out of big cities from an increase of those working from home

Overall, the pandemic has certainly shifted what people are thinking about when moving, whether it be in-state or across the country. These statistics show some trends have stayed the same from previous years and some have shifted opposite of the usual.

As a moving company, it is good to keep up on the trends of your industry to ensure that you are positioning your business to offer the best services for your customers. Trends and statistics are constantly changing and with the year that 2020 was, it is good to take a look at what decisions your target audience is making for their moves.

The moving trends that were seen in 2020 have been greatly impacted by the pandemic. With many now working from home indefinitely, it has changed why people move. There has been an increase in those moving to be closer to family as well as those looking to migrate down south for retirement.

Some have also seen this as an opportunity to move out of cities with a high cost of living and into more quiet towns and surrounding suburbs where they can work remotely. This may have also been caused by the increase in job loss from those who were laid off during the pandemic.

Moving Industry Statistics for 2020

Looking at the past year, in 2020, the moving industry trends have seen some statistics that have been typical of previous years, but some are taking a turn in the opposite direction more than usual.

Over 15.9 million people moved in 2020, this was calculated by mymove.com by using the United States Postal Service change of address data. This is based off of both temporary and permanent changes of address. Temporary change of address requests were up close to 27% compared to 2019.

According to a survey done by Move.org, the most popular time to move in 2020 was early fall, beginning in August and dropping off again towards November. In terms of what day of the week was most popular to move, Monday took first with Friday being second. These statistics have been shown in previous years to be typical for household moves.

Retirees Moving South and West in the U.S.

There has also been a trend in the United States for the past few years of many moving toward the west or south of the country. According to a survey done annual by United Van Lines, the effect of the pandemic, has seen an acceleration in long-distance moves as the baby boomer generation continues into retirement.

Here are the top four states people retiring are moving to:

  1. Montana at 41%
  2. Delaware at 41%
  3. Florida at 39%
  4. South Carolina at 38.5%

The Tax Foundation also pointed out that this decision of moving south also has to do with income taxes. In most of these states, Social Security is largely or fully exempt from income taxes, which would be a big pro for retirees.  

United Van Lines also studied highest inbound vs. outbound states that looked at a state’s number of people moving into the state versus moving out of it. In their study they based this off states experiencing more than 250 moves.

Top Inbound States:

  • South Carolina at 64% which was also popular for retirees
  • Oregon at 63%
  • South Dakota at 62%

Top Outbound States

  • New York at 67%
  • Illinois at 67%
  • Connecticut at 63%

These stats further prove a move toward an increase in the number of people moving to western states.

Working from Home and Pandemic Concerns

The survey done by United Van Lines also states that between March to October of 2020, the pandemic influenced many people’s reasons to move. 60% of the people surveyed said they moved due to concerns of their own, or their family’s health and wellbeing.

 It was also seen that many were moving out of “hotspot” areas like big metropolitan cities such as New York or Chicago. A likely cause of this is the increase of flexibility of working remotely. If they don’t have to go into the office, it may be in their interest to move somewhere with a lower cost of living, such as the suburbs. This would explain the in-demand real estate market in Hudson Valley as well.  

This has now resulted in an increase of those moving into the suburbs outside of cities. The National Association of Realtors, says that Williamson County, a suburb located just outside of Austin, a major city in Texas, saw the highest migration influx of any county in the country with the number of moves exceeding 4,000 more people moving into the county than out.

According to Gallop, toward the beginning of the pandemic, 7 out of 10 employees were working from home at least part-time, but for the most part, full-time. It was also surveyed that only 1 in every 4 remote workers would like to go back to the office after this. This finding means that, for 2021, there will most likely still be a trend of moving out of highly populated and expensive areas or people to moving closer to their families.

What could this mean for 2021?

Many have found that the options for places to move have opened up since remote working has become more common in the workplace. Now people may not have to have their work commute as a huge concern when it comes to buying a new home, or which city they choose to live in.

We may also continue to see the trend of people moving to be closer to family during this time, again with the increase in flexibility of where you work and those who have recently retired.

For retirees, an increase in those looking to retire, onset from the pandemic, may still be the case for the remainder of 2021.

With these two considerations together, you may see more people looking to do longer, cross-country moves. As mentioned in the statistics for 2020, the high cost of living in dense metropolitan areas may also lead even more people to the surrounding suburban areas.

What this Means for your Moving Company

After looking at all these statistics it may be a lot to take in. Moving companies should use this as a tool for market research to get a better understanding on what their potential customers are thinking. Depending on where you are based, does this mean targeting more local moves or long-distance moves? Are more people looking to do interstate moves in your area? Should you be catering towards an older crowd looking to retire?

The moving industry statistics may just seem like numbers on a page saying people moved in, and people moved out, big deal. But for your business, it gives you insight into the average customer and the moving services they are going to be looking for going into 2021.

Many now have an increase in flexibility with the remote working environment to have more options when it comes to choosing where they live. More have also been influenced in their retirement to settle down in southern, warmer states. Long-distance moves may be a big area of interest depending on where your business is based.

Lots of changes have happened in 2020. Some have just accelerated typical trends of past years and others have seen a shift in the average customer’s mindset altogether.

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