Still Movin’ On Out
In a recent analysis of Missouri’s migration patterns since 2004, Michael Rathbone and I found that Missouri’s net out-migration—more people moving out than in—has been especially pronounced since 2008. The most current information used in that study ended in 2013. Because some of the data have been updated, has there been any change over the past year in Missouri’s migration pattern?
Our earlier analysis used information provided by Atlas Van Lines and United Van Lines. These moving companies track outbound and inbound moves for all states. Calculating the ratio of outbound moves to total moves provides a rough gauge of whether more households are relocating into or out of a state.
Both companies recently published their findings for 2014. The table below reports the ratio of outbound to total moves for Missouri and its neighboring states. The evidence from Atlas Van Lines shows that more households moved out of Missouri (55.5 percent of total moves) than in. United Van Line’s 2014 National Movers Study also finds that outbound moves exceeded inbound moves.
Here are two aspects about these numbers. First, they prolong a trend that began several years ago: more households moving out of Missouri than moving in. Second, in 2014 Missouri’s percent of outbound moves exceeded that of most neighboring states. The Atlas report found that the percent of outbound moves was lower in six states relative to Missouri. Five states had relatively fewer outbound moves than Missouri, according to the United study.
“Relying on data sources as varied as moving companies to the Census Bureau and the IRS,” Rathbone and I noted, “our evidence reveals that, especially since 2007, more of Missouri’s residents have relocated out of the state than others have moved in.” Updating the moving company figures does not alter that conclusion.
Outbound (%) in 2014