US States Americans Are Leaving, Fast (Plus The States They're Moving To)

Thinking of moving? Find out why other people are packing up and what states you might want to avoid.

Moving is a drag. You have to leave your friends, say goodbye to favorite cafes and spend hours swaddling your dishware in bubble wrap.

Even so, Americans are moving in droves to seek a better life.

Every year, moving company United Van Lines releases data on the number of people joining or leaving each state. In United's 2020 report — based on last year's moves — work is the No. 1 reason to leave in almost every state on the list. That held true across the country, from the Eastern Seaboard to the Midwestern prairies.

Here are the states Americans are fleeing the fastest, as well as the new places they're calling home.

23. Missouri

st. louis skysline at at sunset, -st. louis,missouri,usa.
Checubus / Shutterstock
The state is growing too slow.

Outbound moves: 51.1%

While Missouri is recognized for the world's tallest arch, these days the Gateway Arch is as much exit as entrance.

The state’s population hasn’t been growing nearly as fast as expected, with low job growth blamed for the stagnation over the past two decades. Missouri also suffers from lower rates of high school and postsecondary education compared to other states in the area, according to American Community Survey data.

Even the weather is trying to force residents out, according to an anonymous Redditor.

“We get winter storms blowing in from the northwest all winter, so it feels like you are living in Canada, and the summers are brutal, with all of July and August at 95+ degrees and 100% humidity. It sucks so bad, that it is our prime motivation to move away.”

22. Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA downtown skyline and incline.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock
Times are changing in Pennsylvania.

Outbound moves: 51.2%

More than a century ago, the man behind Hershey’s chocolate chose to open his factory in Pennsylvania for its countryside beauty and bountiful farmland. He even built a town, Hershey, for his employees.

Life isn’t as sweet for the state’s workers today. While manufacturers still employ almost 9.5% of Pennsylvania’s workforce, the state lost about 80,000 manufacturing jobs between 2008 and 2018.

Christopher David on Quora loathes every part of the state they’ve lived in.

“My job relocated me to the Scranton area, where I made the grave mistake of purchasing a home. A very depressed and unkept area. While paying dirt-cheap taxes is a plus, the reverse of this is that there is little to no public upkeep and basic necessities, such as removal of storm damage and roadside cleanup, are nonexistent.”