More people moved out of Michigan than in during 2022, study finds

Many moving to southern, northeastern states

Photo by Kadarius Seegars on Unsplash (Unsplash)

The Great Lakes State is losing more people than it’s bringing in, a new study finds.

Throughout the year 2022, more people moved out of Michigan than the amount of people who moved in, according to United Van Lines’ 2022 National Movers Study. Researchers say 58% of moves in Michigan were outbound, meaning the state lost more residents than it gained in the past year.

Out of all the states in the country, Michigan ranked No. 4 on the list of the most moved-from states for 2022. New Jersey came in at No. 1, as it saw the most outbound moves -- 67% -- of any other state in 2022. Illinois came in second and New York came in third for the most outbound moves.

Here are the 10 states that saw the most outbound moves in 2022:

  1. New Jersey
  2. Illinois
  3. New York
  4. Michigan
  5. Wyoming
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Nebraska
  9. Louisiana
  10. California

Those behind the study say that retiring baby boomers and early Gen Xers “drove migration patterns” in 2022.

“Key factors like retirement, wanting to be closer to family and lifestyle changes influenced by the pandemic along with current housing prices drove moving patterns in 2022,” said Michael Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “The United Van Lines study encompasses data that Americans are now moving from bigger to smaller cities, mostly in the South, some in the West, but even an increase of migration to the Northeast, which has not been typical. We’re also seeing younger Millennials migrating to vibrant, metropolitan economies, like Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon.”

Researchers found that the majority of Michiganders moving out of the state, about 33%, left due to family reasons. Just over 30% said they moved out of Michigan due to their job, and nearly 26% said they left for retirement. A smaller percentage of people, 14.51%, said they left Michigan primarily due to their lifestyle. Even fewer people said they left because of health or cost reasons.

On the other end of the spectrum, Michigan saw around 42% of inbound moves in 2022. The majority of people moving to Michigan said their primary reason was either family related (43.59%), or job related (30.77%).

But Michigan’s percentage of inbound moves came nowhere near other states’ numbers for 2022.

Vermont saw the most inbound moves of any other state last year, the 46th annual study found, with 77% of moves coming into the state. Oregon came in second with 67% of inbound moves, and Rhode Island came in third with 66% of inbound moves.

Here are the 10 states that saw the most inbound moves in 2022:

  1. Vermont
  2. Oregon
  3. Rhode Island
  4. South Carolina
  5. Delaware
  6. North Carolina
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. South Dakota
  9. New Mexico
  10. Alabama

Interestingly, Vermont, Oregon, South Dakota and New Mexico are actually among the least densely populated states in the U.S., researchers said.

Check out United Van Lines’ interactive map below, which allows you to compare national moving trends from 1977-2022.

Click here to see the complete 2022 National Movers Study.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.