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Movin' Out: The Least Popular States

Moving In, Moving Out


Some think migration is for the birds, but United Van Lines has been tracking moving patterns of Americans all across the U.S.

The moving organization released the results of their 2009 Migration Study recently, showing the states that have the most residents moving in and out, based on shipments of goods from the more than 140,000 household moves United Vans handled in 2009. If you don't see your state on the list, lucky you! Your home state is probably in a middle pack and has a "balanced" resident moving rate.

With the national unemployment rate back under 10% (it dipped to 9.7% in January), fewer Americans might be moving this year to find another job, meaning the list might be very different next year.

So, you want to know who's going to be sitting at the popular table in the cafeteria, don't you? Well then, read on.

Photo Credit: loyaldefender2004

10th Most Popular State to Move to: Texas


Total Shipments: 23,830

% Inbound Shipments: 55.4%

Why It's So Popular: Everything's big in Texas, even the real estate market and housing prices. In a recent article by D Magazine, a Dallas publication, 100 homes were listed as some of the most expensive in the city. Topping the list is a $41.4 million home owned by sports magnate Tom Hicks. It almost 30,00 square feet and sits on 25 acres. That's a lucky, lucky man. With real estate like this, no wonder people want to move here.

9th Most Popular State to Move to: New Mexico


Total Shipments: 2,482

% Inbound Shipments: 55.5%

Why It's So Popular: Who wouldn't want to live in a state with one of the weirdest UFO cities in the world? As we highlighted in MainStreet's coverage of alien tourism, Roswell is one of the legendary hotspots for UFO conspiracy theorists and out-of-this-world believers to visit. Hopefully, people moving to New Mexico aren't encountering alien abductions and probings  — that might cut into their popularity a bit.

8th Most Popular State to Move to: Georgia


Total Shipments: 10,909

% Inbound Shipments: 55.6%

Why It's So Popular: Droughts have plagued Georgia for years, so if you're moving there like so many others, make sure you try to save some water for your fellow residents. In fact, you might be required to save water soon if a new conservation bill gets passed into state law.

7th Most Popular State to Move to: Colorado


Total Shipments: 8,283

% Inbound Shipments: 56%

Why It's So Popular: Skiers and other winter sports enthusiasts are drawn to Colorado for the state's incredible mountains, but they should really watch out for leaping, attacking porcupines (we're not kidding). Despite these furry marauders, the housing market seems to be recovering nicely as well, with foreclosure completions down 18.4% from 2007.

6th Most Popular State to Move to: Idaho


Total Shipments: 1,496

% Inbound Shipments: 56.1%

Why It's So Popular: Idaho may be new to the most popular list, but that doesn't mean it hasn't always been a pretty cool place to live. Coeur d'Alene hosts some great spas, golf courses and (of course) hiking trails, all of which provide great opportunities to explore this great state. Plus, the potatoes. Think of the potatoes.

5th Most Popular State to Move to: Wyoming


Total Shipments: 694

% Inbound Shipments: 56.3%

Why It's So Popular: Wyoming has some of the most beautiful natural wonders in America. Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and miles of open sky and land make this one of the most visually stunning places in which to live.

4th Most Popular State to Move to: Nevada


Total Shipments: 3,044

% Inbound Shipments: 57.2%

Why It's So Popular: It may be the dumbest state in America, but Nevada is a desirable place to live for many. Frankly, this one baffles me. With the Las Vegas housing market struggling, it's surprising that so many people want to live here. Then again, a depressed housing market could make for a great deal on your dream home.

3rd Most Popular State to Move to: Arkansas


Total Shipments: 1,882

% Inbound Shipments: 57.7%

Why It's So Popular: Three words — The Duggar Family. The family made famous by TLC's show 19 & Counting (they've had 19 kids) resides in Arkansas, which is most likely why everyone's moving there. OK, maybe not, but Arkansas is one of the least debt-ridden states in America and that's something to cheer about.

2nd Most Popular State to Move to: Oregon


Total Shipments: 4,045

% Inbound Shipments: 58.9%

Why It's So Popular: 22 years. That's how long Oregon has been a popular destination state for movers. This long streak could be due to the general popularity of Western states over the course of the migration study, but it might not last long if taxes continue to rise. Voters have approved increased taxes on individuals in top tax brackets and businesses, proving that tax hikes might not be that unpopular in a recession... so long as their targeted.

The Most Popular State to Move to: District of Columbia


Total Shipments: 1,480

% Inbound Shipments: 67.8%

Why It's So Popular: The most popular state isn't even a state, and that's not all. With an unemployment rate higher than 10%, the nation's capitol is a surprisingly popular place. Tough technically a federal city, the District of Columbia tops the United Migration Survey for the second year in a row. Why? Perhaps it's President Obama's popularity that's drawing people in. Or maybe it's the great paying government jobs.

The Unpopular Kids in the Cafeteria


So, if the states you just read about are the jocks, pretty girls and cheerleaders in the high school cafeteria, the next 10 are your rejects. These states don't get asked to the prom and on occasion they get locked in their lockers. Luckily, the residents won't be getting swirlies or atomic wedgies. On to the list!

Photo Credit: DeaPeaJay

10th Least Popular State to Move to: New Hampshire


Total Shipments: 1,305

% Outbound Shipments: 55.2%

Why It's So Unpopular: New Hamshire also happens to be the drunkest state in America. The reason for this is because they have a no taxes on booze, so people from Mass shoot across the border to get liquor and then go home. Sad. Even their loose liquor laws aren't enough to convince countless drunked Sox fans to move there.

9th Least Popular State to Move to: Maine


Total Shipments: 1,479

% Outbound Shipments: 55.6%

Why It's So Unpopular: One blogger hated a trip to Maine so much that he felt the need to bash it on the Internet. His main complaint? It's boring. He writes: "Activities in Maine: sit for hours at a lake that smells like sulfur and has 300 degree water, and go to Portland and watch people eat burgers, steaks, and other tasty animals while I am forced to eat salmon and carrots. I entertained myself by chipping crab apples at the neighbors houses with some dude's 9 iron." Yikes.

8th Least Popular State to Move to: Wisconsin


Total Shipments: 4,842

% Outbound Shipments: 56.3%

Why It's So Unpopular: With an average annual temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit, it's no wonder people don't like to move to Wisconsin. The cheese is pretty good though. Gotta love cheese.

7th Least Popular State to Move to: Minnesota


Total Shipments: 5,778

% Outbound Shipments: 56.5%

Why It's So Unpopular: The air quality in this state isn't so great, even requiring air advisories to be issued by the government. However, when it's as cold outside as it is in Minnesota during the winter, I don't know if telling people to stay inside is really necessary.

6th Least Popular State to Move to: North Dakota


Total Shipments: 768

% Outbound Shipments: 57%

Why It's So Unpopular: Even though people might not be flocking to North Dakota, the state has one of the best mental health records when you look at cases of depression nationally. Maybe all of the depressed people have been heading to Nevada, the most dperessed state in America.

5th Least Popular State to Move to: Pennsylvania


Total Shipments: 9,424

% Outbound Shipments: 57.4%

Why It's So Unpopular: When your state's capital is thinking about declaring banruptcy, you know you might want to be looking for another place to live. As BusinessWeek reports, Harrisburg currently has $68 million in debt payments that come due this year, but little cash on hand. On the other hand, Pennsylvanians do live in the only state to have teams win a Stanley Cup and a Super Bowl in the same year. I guess championships just don't draw them in the way they used to.

4th Least Popular State to Move to: Indiana


Total Shipments: 4,494

% Outbound Shipments: 57.5%

Why It's So Unpopular: Perhaps the Colts' stunning routing of the Saints this weekend will entice people to move to this Midwest state that (surprisingly) went blue in the 2008 Presidential election. If not, there's always the draw of a state that doesn't have a smoking ban like some of its neighbors.

3rd Least Popular State to Move to: New Jersey


Total Shipments: 7,300

% Outbound Shipments: 58.1%

Why It's So Unpopular: A billion-dollar budget gap probably isn't a big selling point for the Garden State, which continues its 21-year trend of making the unpopular list.

2nd Least Popular State to Move to: Illinois


Total Shipments: 10,940

% Outbound Shipments: 58.2%

Why It's So Unpopular: The Olympics didn't want to come here, so why would other Americans want to make the move to the Land of Lincoln?

The Least Popular State to Move to: Michigan


Total Shipments: 7,125

% Outbound Shipments: 68%

Why It's So Unpopular: Since the Michigan Wolverines can't seem to beat Ohio State, it's no wonder people are deserting the state. Michigan has held the top spot in this list since 2006. It also doesn't help that Michigan's unemployment rate is now at a staggering 14.6%.

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