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Who’s Moving to the Midwest?

See moving trends for Midwestern states

by James Grosz ConsumerAffairs Research Team
whos moving to the midwest

People move to the Midwest for varied reasons, including jobs, education and family. Whether individuals settle in a small town or a bustling metropolitan area, the region boasts many appealing opportunities. We analyzed moving trends among prospective movers and used the U.S. Census Bureau’s definition of Midwest to figure out what states are driving people to move to the region. See who’s moving into your state, or find out if you’re in good company in making the move from another part of the country to the Midwest.

Methodology

We collected data from prospective movers and analyzed their origins when moving to a Midwest state to determine domestic migration trends. We've included moving data for all 12 states in the Midwest in the study, as well as from major cities that had enough data to support reliable conclusions. We referred to the U.S. Census Bureau in determining how to define the four Midwestern regions of the United States.

State-by-State Breakdown

According to a U.S. Census Bureau report released in 2017, Midwestern states experienced more outbound migration than inbound migration, contributing to a decrease in population. This is a consistent migration trend that goes back decades. However, there are still a lot of people making the move to this region.

1. Illinois

Moving trends to Illinois are tied fairly closely to state population size. Most prospective movers hail from populous states such as California, Florida, Texas and New York. Although not the most significant contributor, Arizona is the only outlier in that it provides notably more movers than would be expected from its population size.

Chicago

Compared to all of Illinois, Chicago gets more of its movers from the Northeast and fewer from the Midwest and West. The proportion of movers from New York to Chicago is significantly larger than that of the entire state.

2. Indiana

The largest portion of movers to Indiana come from the Southern United States. California and Florida are the largest contributors of movers to Indiana. Neighboring Illinois provides the third highest amount of movers.

3. Iowa

Although Californians again prove to be the dominant group of movers to this Midwestern state, Iowa experiences several outliers as well. Illinois, Nebraska and Colorado all provide similarly notable amounts of prospective movers. Both Colorado and Nebraska bring significantly more movers than their smaller populations would indicate.

4. Kansas

Although Californians again prove to be the dominant group of movers to this Midwestern state, Kansas experiences several outliers as well. Missouri provides more movers than its population would indicate. Other nearby states like Colorado and Texas also contribute somewhat to the pool of movers traveling to Kansas.

5. Michigan

California and Florida are the state’s top two largest sources of movers, respectively. A nearly equal amount of movers come from Michigan itself, indicating high levels of internal migration. Furthermore, Michigan itself is an outlier because of how many more internal movers it provides than its population would suggest. Many people also relocate to Michigan from Texas and Illinois.

6. Minnesota

Californians are the largest group of movers to Minnesota. Arizona is the second largest and also an outlier as the state provides more movers than its population would suggest. Movers also come to Minnesota from Florida and nearby Illinois.

Minneapolis

Compared to all of Minnesota, Minneapolis gets fewer of its movers from the Midwest and West and more from the South and Northeast. This is due in part to the greater proportion of movers coming to Minneapolis from big states New York and, to a lesser extent, Florida and Texas.

7. Missouri

Most people come to this state from California, followed by Illinois and Texas. Although it makes up much less of the mover pool, Iowa is a significant outlier, likely due to its proximity to Missouri.

St. Louis

Compared to all of Missouri, St. Louis gets less of its movers from the Midwest and West and more from the Northeast and South. St. Louis receives a significantly higher proportion of movers from Florida than does the entire state.

8. Nebraska

California makes up the largest portion of movers to Nebraska. Close-by Midwestern states such as Missouri, Illinois and Colorado, along with Texas serve as other noteworthy sources of movers to Nebraska.

9. North Dakota

The sample of prospective movers to North Dakota is fairly small, but some general trends can still be found. The largest portion of movers to North Dakota come from the Western United States. The most significant source of movers to North Dakota is Minnesota, no doubt helped by its close proximity to the state. Other notable sources include Michigan, Arizona and Texas.

10. Ohio

The largest group moving to Ohio are Californians, with Florida and Texas in second and third, respectively. Movers from within Ohio are somewhat high, indicating notable internal migration. Both Colorado and Nevada, are outliers in that they provide more movers than their population sizes would suggest.

11. South Dakota

The sample of prospective movers to South Dakota is fairly small, but some general trends can still be found. The largest portion of movers to South Dakota come from the Western United States. South Dakota is receiving its largest groups of movers from Texas, California, Colorado and Utah.

12. Wisconsin

Californians make up the largest group of movers to Wisconsin. Illinois and Florida provide the second and third highest number of movers, respectively.

Conclusion

Overall, people moving to the Midwest come from the West and other Midwestern states. Although this region has more people moving out than moving in, many who choose to settle here appreciate the lower cost of living, lighter traffic and a more laid-back lifestyle of the Midwest.

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by James Grosz ConsumerAffairs Research Team

James is a junior data scientist on the ConsumerAffairs Research Team. When he's not combing through data, James enjoys coding games and playing with his cat Simba.