United Van Lines

Data compiled by national moving company United Van Lines shows Louisiana was among the top 10 states for outgoing migration in 2021.

Louisiana was among the top 10 states for outgoing migration in 2021, according to data compiled by national moving company United Van Lines.

The state was eighth overall in the most outbound states in the study from United Van Lines in its 45th annual National Movers Study. Among metro areas, Lake Charles was 14th and Lafayette 24th for the largest difference in outbound shipments compared to inbound.

The study, which tracks the company’s exclusive data for customers’ state-to-state migration patterns, showed a pattern of Americans leaving for lower-density areas and to be closer to families. In the cases of Lake Charles and Lafayette, were the only MSAs in the southern U.S. to make the list. Louisiana was also the only southern state to finish in the top 10 states with the biggest outmigration.

The study totaled shipments made in each state and the percentage of incoming and outgoing. Louisiana was among the lowest with only 2,542 shipments but had 57% of them leaving the state.

Lake Charles and Lafayette also had a low number of total shipments compared to other MSAs with 123 each. Lake Charles had 69% outgoing shipments, and Lafayette had 66%. Long Island, New York, with its 1,327 total shipments, had 79% outgoing.

Vermont, at 74% inbound shipments, had the highest inbound migration among states, ahead of South Dakota (69%), South Carolina (63%), West Virginia (63%) and Florida (62%). Top five outbound shipment states were New Jersey (71%), which took the top spot for the fourth straight year; Illinois (67%), New York (63%), Connecticut (60%) and California (59%).

The report also indicated that 31.8% of people who did move indicated it was to be closer to family. About 32.5% -- almost half of the total from 2015 -- indicated their move was job-related.

“This new data is indicative of COVID-19’s impact on domestic migration patterns, with 2021 bringing an acceleration of moves to smaller, midsized towns and cities,” said Michael A. Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at UCLA. “We’re seeing this not only occur because of Americans’ desire to leave high density areas due to risk of infection, but also due to the transformation of how we’re able to work, with more flexibility to work remote.”

Email Adam Daigle at adaigle@theadvocate.com.