There are surveys being done all the time on what states to move to – and not to move to. The question is how reliable are those surveys. For this article we used that decades long choice for many people who are moving around – U-Haul. The method is actually simple and yet accurate. Their method measures the number of one way trips their rented trucks make into and out of a state in a calendar year. Their report, released in early January, calculated the more than 2 million trips made in 2018 using U-Haul trucks.
Some of the states on the list will surprise you, while others are expected to top the list. Geographically, 3 are from the New England area, 3 are along the East Coast, 2 from the South, and 2 from the West. Texas remained at the top of the list from the 2017 survey, while Illinois plunged to the very bottom from last year’s 49th position.
Whether you are a business or an individual, perhaps the biggest reason to move to Texas is the tax rate. There is no personal income tax and no corporate income tax. For some people that can put more than 5% a year back into their pockets. That draws new business, making jobs plentiful, including tech jobs, giving it an unemployment rate below the national average. Whether you prefer to live in the city or rural areas, there is a place for you.
For many of the same reasons people are moving to Texas, they choose Florida. With zero personal income tax and plenty of jobs, Florida has something for everyone. But there is a special attraction that Florida has – a place to retire. The increasing number of Baby Boomers who will be moving from the colder climates to rest their bones choose Florida because of its constant warm climate. Perhaps even more relevant is Florida has been known for years as the state to retire.
3. South Carolina
Consistent with the top two states, jobs are one of the biggest reasons people choose South Carolina. Another reason is its location. It’s not too far south to make the weather unbearable, while it avoids most of the colder weather that its northern cousin gets.
Utah has been a favorite state for people to move to for many years. Those who love the cold weather sports such as skiing or just the general outdoors, it has plenty of wide open spaces to play and explore. It has one of the lowest cost of living indexes in the country, and like most of the states on this list, low taxes. Those who love the snow will love Utah.
The second western state that made the list, Idaho is a bit of an anomaly on this list when it comes to taxes. The low population numbers make it an attractive place to raise a family but the tax rate can be uncomfortably high for some people. However, those taxes create a safe environment for raising families, and despite its far north location it is very affordable.
A surprise state in this list, Maryland is one of the few states north of the Mason-Dixon line where people are moving for jobs. Yet 1 in 4 people are moving there for family reasons, which is another surprise on this list. Another possible reason is people are preparing for the second Amazon headquarters opening in Virginia, which is right across the border, but then makes you wonder why Virginia didn’t make the top 10..
Vermont made the national news recently when it offered $10,000 in relocation expense reimbursement to move to the state. It was on a first come, first serve basis, and the offer was available primarily to people who possessed certain skill sets. But surveys show the state has had a very high quality of life for many years, so those who don’t mind a cooler climate find Vermont ideal.
Like Maryland, the presence of Tennessee on this list is a bit unusual. Like other top states they have a low unemployment rate and plenty of jobs. But where Tennessee is somewhat unique is that they have one of the best post-secondary education systems in the country. Also, they have an impressive system of hospitals and health care facilities that make it an ideal relocation spot for families.
9. New Hampshire
Based on neighboring states Maine and Vermont making the list, it is becoming clearer that people, especially with families, are moving to stats where the safety factor is very high. New Hampshire is ranked third, behind those two other states, as the safest in the country to live. The state also is one of the healthiest to live in, and it is worth noting that the state’s neighbor to the south, Massachusetts, is ranked near the bottom of the U-Haul survey.
In Wallet Hubs survey of favorable states to move to, Maine placed 16th. This may not seem impressive, but in two key categories for families – Health and Safety, and Education and Child Care – Maine ranked 5th and 7th respectively. People looking to move to a place away from cities such as Chicago (which can get just as cold during the year) and want to raise a family see Maine as a reasonable alternative. They, like Vermont, have been offering $10,000 incentive programs to acquire much needed skilled labor for the workforce.