North Carolina continues to be a destination for people wanting to relocate to another state.
Atlas Van Lines said North Carolina was third in the U.S. for customer inbound moves in 2019, as well as first in the Southeast.
U-Haul also had North Carolina ranked third, trailing Florida and Texas. North Carolina jumped considerably from 24th in the 2019 report.
Atlas had 2,711 inbound moves for North Carolina, along with 1,860 leaving the state.
The 2019 total is the lowest number of inbound Atlas customers for North Carolina during the 2010s. The peak was 3,975 in 2011 at the end of the Great Recession.
For Atlas, North Carolina was one of just 11 states with a majority of moves being inbound.
U-Haul said the Triangle, Wilmington, Boone and Hendersonville led U-Haul in-migration rentals, with Winston-Salem included in the list of communities having an overall net in-migration gain.
Raleigh was listed as the nation’s top growth city for in-migration, while Wilmington placed in the top 25.
“North Carolina is seeing growth in businesses coming in, which attracts new residents,” said Jason Grider, Central North Carolina president for U-Haul.
“The housing market is booming. With plenty of jobs to choose from, residents from every background are making North Carolina their home.
“We also have some of the best colleges, so graduates from all over end up moving here for good,” Grider said.
North American Van Lines Inc. ranked North Carolina fifth with 60% of customers being inbound rentals and 40% outbound rentals.
North American cited North Carolina’s main advantages as being a “very friendly tax state, warmer climates and job growth.”
Allied Van Lines also ranked North Carolina, citing in particular individuals and households moving to the state for work reasons.
United Van Lines had North Carolina ninth in the country for its customers, as well as third in the Southeast. It was United’s 42nd annual migration report.
The United moving breakdown for North Carolina was 57.3% inbound and 42.7% outbound.
United provided additional socioeconomic data for customers moving to and from North Carolina.
For example, 44.8% of inbound movers cited a job as their primary reason, while 58.2% of outbound movers did.
About 25% of inbound movers said family was the motivating reason, while 23.8% said retirement, 14.1% said lifestyle and 3.8% said health.
Given North Carolina’s popularity as a retirement state for the beach, mountain and golf activities, 30.6% of inbound movers were age 65 and older, along with 26.9% of those ages 55 to 64.
However, the state appeared to be less attractive to millennials and Gen Xers, with those ages 18 to 34 representing 11% of inbound movers, along with 15.6% of those ages 35 to 44.
Meanwhile, 19.4% of outbound movers were ages 18 to 34, as well as 22.5% of those ages 35 to 44.
North Carolina proved most popular with those with household incomes of at least $150,000, representing nearly 40% of inbound movers, as well as 37.1% of outbound movers.
“Key factors were the baby boomer generation relocating upon reaching retirement age, as well as states’ economic performances and housing costs, that drove these 2019 moving patterns,” said Michael Stoll, an economist with the Department of Public Policy at UCLA.
“United Van Lines’ study encompasses data consistent with the broader migration trends to western and southern regions that we’ve been seeing for several years now.”
The inbound trends contributed to the state’s population exceeding 10.5 million in 2019, up at least 10% from 2010. The 2020 U.S. Census will determine the official state population total.
North Carolina currently is the ninth largest state, trailing Georgia by about 120,000.
North Carolina’s growth spurt during the 2010s is projected to land it a 14th congressional district for the 2022 election.
“North Carolina has consistently featured prominently as a net in-migration state,” said Keith Debbage, a joint professor of geography and sustainable tourism and hospitality at UNC Greensboro.
“That has been triggered by a rigorous job market, attractive amenities both manmade and natural, and the retirement migration from both the Rustbelt region and ‘rebound migration’ from folks in Florida who are looking for some topography to complement the beach environment.”