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United Releases Annual Migration Report for 2012

If you could pack up your things and move to any state in the U.S., where would you go? Would you head toward family, warm weather, better jobs or something else? If you’re like most people, according to a recent study, you probably prefer a state with weather that is as nice as the job outlook.

United Van Lines recently released its 36th annual migration report, which highlights the states that are the most – and least – popular moving destinations in the continental United States. In 2012, there was a clear trend towards the southern states along with those that have an influx of new jobs.

With an unemployment rate that fell nearly 1.5% in 2012, Washington D.C. led the nation with the highest percentage of inbound moves over the past year. A surprising 64 percent of relocations involving the District of Columbia were people coming into the city. Remarkably, 2012 was the fifth consecutive year that D.C. topped United Van Line’s annual migration report.

Beyond D.C., trends tended to favor the southern and western states, as Oregon, Nevada and both North and South Carolina rounded out the top-five locales that saw the highest percentage of people moving in. Worth noting is that each of these states ended 2012 with a lower unemployment rate than when the year began.

On the other side of things, states with high unemployment and low temperatures saw the highest outbound migration rates in 2012. New Jersey was the state that topped this list, with significantly more people leaving the state than coming in during 2012, as a high unemployment rate and unpredictable weather contributed to the state’s unfavorable finish in the migration report.

New Jersey vaulted past 2011’s last-place finisher, Illinois, which slotted down to the second-most vacated state in 2012. 62 percent of moves in New Jersey were outbound, compared with 60 percent for Illinois.

While Midwest states still largely struggle in the migration report, there was a shimmer of good news for the state of Michigan, which fell out of the top-five most-vacated states after coming in at No. 4 in 2011 and No. 1 from 2006-2009.

Which of these states would you most like to move to? Would you ditch your state for one with warmer climates, or would you prefer to stay put?

To read the full migration report, click here.

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