Guest Contributor
January 27, 2023
Article type:
Press Release
Applies to:
All Moving

Moves Plummet 20% Nationwide: How Utah and Colorado Were Affected

Every year Allied Van Lines releases its annual Magnet States Report, which tracks migrant patterns in the US. This year’s results show that fewer Americans moved in 2022 compared to 2021 due to inflation, rising rents, interest rates, and falling wages. Within a year, moves plummeted in every state, causing a 20 percent decrease nationwide. In particular, the sunbelt saw an increase in inbound movers while areas like the west coast and northeast suffered a moving exodus.

However, with 20% less moving nationwide, Colorado still held a positive inbound-to-outbound moving ratio with a slight uptick of inbound movers. Utah, on the other hand, experienced the opposite. So, how are these states related? As an Agent of Allied Van Lines, Bailey’s Moving & Storage pulled migrant data for Utah and Colorado because the company has brick-and-mortar locations in both states.  

With continuous traffic between Utah and Colorado, our clientele often wonders where everyone else is moving. Why? People simply like to know who is entering and leaving their states. See the graphs below to understand:

  • Inbound moving percentages
  • Outbound moving percentages
  • Where most people moved from
  • Where most people moved to  
  • 2022 compared to 2021

Breaking Down Colorado’s Positive Inbound-to-Outbound Moving Ratio

Why People Flock to Colorado

With the rise in remote work, Colorado continued to see an increase in migration before, during, and after the pandemic. Granted, the migration pattern slowed down along with the rest of the country in 2022, but the Centennial state has consistently provided an influx of tech jobs. This attracted workers from coastal hubs that may have dominated cities like Denver in the past. According to Axios Denver, these are some areas of growth that accelerated Colorado’s economy:  

  • Boulder added 2,167 tech workers, a 3.4% growth over five years. It grew by 4.4% from 2019 to 2020.
  • The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro is listed as a "rising star" for its growth, adding 14,477 tech workers from 2015 to 2020, a 6.6% increase. The growth from 2019 to 2020 was 4.6%.
  • Colorado Springs added 612 tech workers, a 1.2% growth increase over five years. And 1.4% from 2019 to 2020.
  • Fort Collins added 855 tech workers in five years, a 3.9% growth rate. The single-year growth from 2019 to 2020 was 3.4%.

However, with the nation’s tech hubs holding most jobs (Bay Area, New York, Seattle), employees that moved away from superstar cities could be called back. This is important to note as tech companies buy new offices and expand their networks. Still, Colorado maintained a 52.5% inbound moving rate in 2022 compared to its 2021 inbound rate of 52.3%.  

Breaking Down Utah’s Negative Inbound-to-Outbound Moving Ratio

Why People Are Leaving Utah

Ranking third in the United States for overall quality of life, Utah offers lower crime and some of the most vibrant metropolitan areas in the US. So, how did the inbound moving rate change from 52.1% in 2021 to 45.1% in 2022?  

Competing wages and cost of housing: In 2022, Utah’s inflation rose with the rest of the country, but the cost of living still remained 4.7% lower than the national average. However, these were some of the factors that caused an imbalance in the economy:

  • The state’s minimum wage remained at $7.25 an hour
  • The median cost of housing increased 3.5% to $484,000
  • Nearly 44% of people that rapidly moved to Utah had an average income of $150,000 or more
  • The average per capita income of someone living in Utah during 2021 was $33,378
  • According to the 2020 U.S Census, Utah saw the highest population growth out of any other state with a growth of 18.37% since the last 2010 census

As a result, Utah residents definitely felt the competitiveness of living in places like the state’s capital. According to the Wall Street Journal, no metro area in the United States expanded the size of its labor force more on a percentage basis during the pandemic than Salt Lake City. The state’s capital even ranked among the nation’s best locations for job seekers, based on data from 2021. Therefore, the significant influx of movers during 2021 paired with inflation and low wages contributed to the outbound moving rate in 2022.  

Top Inbound and Outbound States and Cities

For those who could afford to move, Americans nationwide chose southern states that offered more robust financial security. That explains why California lost residents to states like Arizona and Texas; rising interest rates made homeownership in major cities unattainable. In correspondence, smaller low-priced markets experienced job growth in 2022, while larger, more expensive markets saw a decline.

Interested in a Moving Quote?

Have a move coming up and are curious about what it may cost? Head over to Bailey’s Moving & Storage’s free online quoting tool. We provide ballpark estimates for moves all across the country. Take the guesswork out of moving today!