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Who's Moving to the Northeast?

See moving trends for Northeastern states

by James Grosz ConsumerAffairs Research Team
whos moving to the northeast

Who's Moving to the Northeast?

In helping more than 120,000 people move, we’ve discovered that Americans move for many reasons, including better housing, being closer to family and starting new jobs. We analyzed moving trends among prospective movers and used the U.S. Census Bureau’s definition of Northeast 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 Northeast.

Methodology

We collected data from prospective movers and analyzed their origins when moving to a Northeastern state to determine domestic migration trends. Moving data for all 9 states in the Northeast was included 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 Northeastern regions of the United States.

State-by-state breakdown

According to a U.S. Census Bureau report released in 2017, Northeast states tended to lose population as more people moved out than moved in. This is a consistent migration trend that goes back decades. However, there are still a lot of people making the move to the Northeast.

1. Connecticut

New Yorkers who want to get away from the complexities of urban living account for the largest number of movers to Connecticut. California is the second largest contributor of movers. Other movers come from Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida and Texas.

Fairfield County

Fairfield County is home to Bridgeport, the largest city in the state. While Fairfield County gets the same percentage of movers from New York as the entirety of Connecticut, California contributes the largest number of movers. Fewer movers come from Florida and Texas.

2. Maine

Despite being the northernmost state in the Northeast, Maine gets a decent mix of movers from all four regions in the United States. California is the largest contributor, followed by Florida and Texas. The Midwest contributes a small number of movers despite its proximity to Maine.

3. Massachusetts

California contributes the largest number of movers to Massachusetts, followed by New York. Connecticut, Maine and Rhode Island also provide a significant number of movers even with their smaller populations, qualifying them as outliers. Massachusetts is one of the favorite destinations of D.C. movers in the Northeast.

Boston

Boston gets a larger proportion of California movers than the entire state does. Northeasterners also make up far less of the mover pool going to Boston than they do with all of Massachusetts, with even large states like New York making a negligible contribution to the state.

4. New Hampshire

While Texas movers have had little activity in the Northeast, Texas is the largest contributor of movers to New Hampshire. A high number of Massachusetts residents are moving to New Hampshire through their shared border while Connecticut contributes a decent number of movers despite its smaller population.

5. New Jersey

The largest group of movers to New Jersey come from its close neighbor New York, with equal numbers coming from California and Florida. Out of these three sources, only New York is an outlier. A decent number of movers come from its neighboring state, Pennsylvania. Though not a major source of movers, South Carolina contributes more movers than its population would indicate.

6. New York

Florida and California provide the largest number of movers to New York, with Florida being an outlier. New York also receives a fair number of movers from its neighbor states New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Washington, D.C. movers prefer New York among the Northeast states.

New York City

Florida is the largest contributor of movers to New York City, with California coming as a close second. The regional mix of movers is relatively similar as the entire state.

7. Pennsylvania

Florida and California lead other states in the number of movers to Pennsylvania. Neighbors New York and New Jersey also significantly contribute to the mover pool with the same number of movers despite New Jersey’s smaller population. For this reason, New Jersey qualifies as an outlier.

Philadelphia

New York is the leading contributor of potential movers to Philadelphia. California, Texas and Florida come in second, third and fourth places, respectively.

Allegheny County

Allegheny County hosts Pittsburgh, the county seat. The county receives a larger portion of the mover pool than the entire state, with a noticeably large number coming from other places in Pennsylvania.

8. Rhode Island

New York, Florida and California contribute the bulk of movers to Rhode Island. A lesser portion comes from the nearby states of New Jersey and Massachusetts.

9. Vermont

Among all other states, California is the leading contributor of movers to Vermont. Its bordering states—New York, New Hampshire and Massachusetts—are also sources of large numbers of possible movers.

Takeaways 

Domestic migration in the United States is a continuing cycle influenced by economics, lifestyle, culture, family, climate preferences and even political beliefs. Residents in the Northeast move within the region, but big cities, such as New York, Philadelphia and Boston, are an attraction for movers from Florida, California and Texas.

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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.