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2021 Allied Van Lines State Magnet Report

Allied Van Lines, one of the world’s largest moving companies, has compiled its Annual Magnet States Report for 2021 in conjunction with Zillow, highlighting consumer and corporate migration patterns in the US over the past year.

2021 Allied Van Lines State Magnet Report

Even as the economy began to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Americans continued moving south, to mid-priced communities in the Sunbelt region. Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Carolina were the most moved to states in 2021.

Houston, Tucson, and Chicago were the top destinations for people moving for work, however. Business-friendly Houston has attracted more new workers than any American city since 2018. Surprisingly, Chicago was number three in corporate moves, despite the fact it was also number one in departures.

Phoenix was the most popular inbound city, welcoming 85,000 new residents in 2021. Chicago, Seattle, and Portland were the biggest sources of migrants, though California added a fair share as well. However, the surge of demand has driven up home prices, which may hurt future migration. In 2020, people moving to Phoenix saw an average savings of $48,000. Today, it’s shrunk to $1,700.

For people who moved for reasons other than work, Dallas and Washington D.C. were the most popular destinations behind Phoenix. Despite the influx, the District of Columbia saw a big population drop in 2021, mostly workers and young professionals. Big population swings are surprisingly common in the nation’s capital. From 2000-2014, approximately 500,000 people moved into the city, while 410,000 moved out, making it a major center for both inbound and outbound migration.

Due to its strong economy and low cost-of-living, Dallas has been one of America’s top inbound cities for the past several years, part of America’s southern and western population shift. Besides low taxes and low cost housing, 176 businesses have moved their corporate headquarters to Dallas-Fort Worth since 2010, creating over a million new jobs.

Additional insights from the 2021 Magnet States Report:

  • Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, California, and Pennsylvania were the biggest outbound states.
  • California was the second biggest destination for corporate moves.
  • June and July were the most popular times to move. Friday was the most popular day.
  • 2021 saw a dramatic rise in housing costs, both a cause and result of increased migration. The average home price in origin ZIP codes was $480,736, up 14% from 2020. The average home price in destination ZIP codes was $444,932, up 13.5%.


Data was provided for all interstate moves that were loaded from January 1, 2016 to November 14, 2021. To maintain comparability with the time frame covered in 2021, only moves loaded by November 14 of each year were included. Home values were computed using the Zillow Home Value Index for the ZIP codes of origin and destination in the loading month for each move.