So Long, Farewell . . .
Every year since 1993, Atlas Van Lines has analyzed interstate moving patterns among U.S. households. Their Migration Patterns report shows which states are experiencing net inflows and outflows of households. The latest report rehashes a familiar story: In 2015, more Missouri households moved out (1,068) than moved in (918).
When I say the story is familiar, I’m not kidding. Have a look at the table at the end of this post, which reports household migration data for Missouri and its neighboring states since the end of the Great Recession. An outbound figure over 50 percent indicates that there are more moves out of than into the state.
Not only has Missouri experienced a net loss of households over the 5-year period, but it did not have a single positive year during that time. In this context, consistency is hardly a virtue.
The Atlas report provides the newest evidence of the difficulty Missouri has had in keeping residents here and attracting people from other states, but Atlas’s data makes up just one voice among a growing chorus. Others include data from the Census Bureau, the IRS’s Statistics of Income, and even data from another moving company (United Van Lines).
In an earlier analysis, Michael Rathbone and I found that all of these studies sing a song we should be tired of hearing: Missouri households are voting with their feet and seeking other, more attractive economic environments.
Average for 2011–2015