Survey: Jobs most common reason to move to Vt.


BENNINGTON — A survey by a national moving company found that a third of customers who moved to Vermont last year did so for a job - the same reason that a majority left the state.

United Van Lines, a suburban St. Louis-based company, released Wednesday its 42nd annual National Movers Study, which tracked 200,000 customers' state-to-state migration patterns.

Of the company's 170 inbound shipments to Vermont last year, 34 percent were for a new job or company transfer, 31 percent for retirement and 16 percent for a "lifestyle change."

A lifestyle change meant people were looking for a slower pace, to be closer to the mountains or to be more engaged in outdoor activities, said Eily Cummings, spokeswoman for United Van Lines.

Some 60 percent of those who moved to Vermont earned more than $150,000 a year, the highest proportion of any state, Cummings said.

Meanwhile, the survey showed 64 individuals or families left Vermont last year: 86 percent for a job out of state and the rest for a lifestyle change.

For the second year in a row, the survey found Vermont to have the highest percentage of inbound moves. The study didn't include information on the Vermont towns or cities where people had relocated.

"We do really well on these moving surveys," said Ken Jones, economic research analyst for the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. But which factors drive these results are still unknown to state officials, Jones added.

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The state does not collect residents' migration data. But the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that in 2017 nearly 21,900 people moved to Vermont while almost 20,900 left, according to the State Data Center at the University of Vermont's Center for Rural Studies.

Between 2010 and 2017, Vermont may have experienced a net population gain of about 12,000 people due to domestic migration from other states, said Michael Moser, coordinator at the State Data Center.

But, Moser added, many of Vermont's more rural places are experiencing a population net loss both to other states and to other economic, social and population hubs within Vermont. The Census Bureau data includes only migration within the U.S. and aren't exact numbers, he noted.

Four Western states filled out the top 5 in Van Lines' survey: Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona.

"Vermont was an outlier in the Northeast," Cummings said, explaining that most of the traffic in the region was outbound.

The study revealed that Americans continue to move west and south. The Mountain West and South regions saw high percentages of inbound moves. The Northeast and Midwest - chiefly New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, New York and Kansas - had high percentages of outbound moves.

People who used United Van Lines' service spent an average $3,000 to $4,000 on a move, and customers include military personnel, Cumming said.

Tiffany Tan can be reached at, @tiffgtan at Twitter and 802-447-7567 ext. 122.


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