Most people will move at least once in their lifetime. If you’ve moved in the last year, you are one of 11% of Americans that also changed scenery. Whether you’re moving to a new house, relocating to a different city or downsizing after the kids go to college, the moving industry is as active as it has ever been. In fact, the total economic impact of the moving industry in 2016 was $85.7 billion.
The moving industry is changing with the times, though. For example, Millennials are moving significantly less than previous generations. This is despite being less tied down to one place with mortgages, spouses and children.
We gathered 35 important moving statistics and grouped them into eight categories based on areas of interest. Educating yourself on moving industry trends can help you get a better idea of what to prepare for during your next move.
General Moving Industry Statistics:
1. The moving industry employs 122,600 people with an annual payroll of $3.6 billion. [Source: AMA]
2. The industry is comprised mostly of small businesses. [Source: AMA]
- 47.8% of industry companies employ fewer than 5 people.
- Only 8.5% of industry companies employ 100 or more people.
3. The number of interstate household moves sits at around 3 million annually. [Source: AMA]
4. Surprisingly, more people utilize the do-it-yourself method than employ professional movers. [Source: AMA]
- by professional movers: 650,000
- by a consumer with a rented truck: 1 million
- by consumer unassisted: 1.35 million
Moving Behaviors and Trends:
5. Who uses moving companies? [Source: AMA]
- Individuals: 44%
- Corporate: 38%
- Military: 16%
- Other federal government: 2%
6. The items most commonly being moved are: [Source: AMA]
- Household goods: 73%
- Computers, copiers and other electronic office equipment: 20%
- Exhibits and trade shows: 6%
- Office and institutional: 1% (mostly local moves)
7. The average mover is part of a couple between the ages of 18 to 34 with one or two kids. As people get older, their tendency to move decreases significantly.
8. Around half of all moves take place in the summer, between the beginning of May and Labor Day. [Source: Money.USNews]
9. The average cost of an interstate move is $4,300, while the average cost of an in-state move is $2,300. [Source: MyMovingReviews.com]
Moving Statistics in the United States:
10. The average annual percent of Americans who move is 11.2%. [Source: AMA]
11. The actual number of Americans who move annually is around 35.1 million. [Source: AMA]
- That’s 15.3 million households at 2.3 persons per household.
12. 9.3% of Americans made a move within the same state. [Source: AMA]
13. 1.5% of Americans moved to a different state. [Source: AMA]
14. 0.4% of Americans moved from the U.S. to another country. [Source: AMA]
15. Of the Americans who moved (35.1 million): [Source: AMA]
- 82.7% moved within the same state
- 13.4% moved to a different state
- 0.36% moved from the U.S. to another country
16. Reason for moving (U.S. Census questionnaire for 2015-16): [Source: AMA]
- Wanted new or better home/apartment — 17.4%
- To establish own household — 12.2%
- New job or transfer — 10.8%
- Other family reason — 10.5%
- Wanted cheaper housing — 8.2%
- Other housing reason — 6.7%
- To be closer to work/easier commute — 6%
- Wanted to own their own home, not rent — 5.9%
- Change in marital status — 4.8%
- Other reasons — 4.4%
- To attend or leave college — 3.2%
- Wanted better neighborhood/less crime — 3.1%
- Health reasons — 1.8%
- To look for work or lost job — 1.5%
- Other job-related reasons — 1.2%
- Foreclosure/eviction — 0.9%
- Change of climate — 0.8%
- Retired — 0.7%
- Natural disaster — 0.1%
Moving and Millennials:
17. Older (age 25 to 35) Millennials are moving less than previous generations. Only 20% of Millennials reported having moved in the last year. Compare that to the silent generation in 1963 at 26% and Generation X in 2000 at 26%.
[Source: Pew Research Center]
18. Only 42% of Millennials (aged 25 to 35) were married and living with their spouse in 2016. By comparison, 82% of Silent Generationers of the same age were married and living with their spouse in 1963. [Source: Pew Research Center]
19. In 1981, 56% of Baby Boomer 25 to 35 year-olds lived in homes they owned themselves, but only 37% of Millennials own homes. [Source: Pew Research Center]
20. In 2016, 56% of Millennials aged 25 to 35 were childless.
[Source: Pew Research Center]
21. If they’re not tied down by spouses, houses, and children, why are Millennials staying put? Less labor market opportunities and less motivation to move into a home that they will own could both play a factor in their decisions.
[Source: Pew Research Center]
Economic Impact of Moving in the United States in 2016:
22. The total economic impact of the moving industry in 2016 was $85.7 billion. [Source: amsa.guerrillaeconomics]
23. There were 482,081 jobs created indirectly as a result of people moving.
24. There were 186,722 total jobs created directly through the moving industry. [Source: amsa.guerrillaeconomics]
25. Americans in the moving industry earned $27.9 billion, which resulted in $9.42 billion in taxes earned. [Source: amsa.guerrillaeconomics]
Where and Why People Move:
26. The highest percentage of people moving to the state, out of total movers: [Source: United Van Lines]
- South Dakota (68%)
- Vermont (67%)
- Oregon (67%)
- Idaho (65%)
- South Carolina (60%)
- Washington (58%)
- District of Columbia (58%)
- North Carolina (58%)
- Nevada (58%)
- Arizona (57%)
27. The highest percentage of people moving FROM the state out of total movers: [Source: United Van Lines]
- New Jersey (63%)
- Illinois (63%)
- New York (63%)
- Connecticut (60%)
- Kansas (60%)
- Kentucky (58%)
- West Virginia (57%)
- Ohio (57%)
- Utah (56%)
- Pennsylvania (56%)
28. A similar number of people are moving to and from California, New Mexico, and Delaware. [Source: United Van Lines]
29. The reasons people move vary between: [Source: AMA]
- 48% of moves are housing related
- 30% of moves are family related
- 19.4% of moves are job-related
- 2.3% other
30. Those who left their county didn’t move far away: 40.2% of intercounty movers relocated less than 50 miles away. Only 24.7% moved 500 or more miles to their new location. [US Census Bureau]
Self-Storage and the Moving Industry:
31. Annual Self-Storage Revenue in the U.S.: $36 billion. [Source: SSA]
- That could buy 34 Grande cold brew coffees from Starbucks for every person in the U.S. (Grande cold brew Starbucks = $3.25 = 11,076,923,076 cups).
32. The typical size of a storage unit facility is 2.5 to 5 acres, with 46,000/sf of rentable space on average. Facility sizes range from 10,000 to 100,000+ square feet.
33. The total amount of self-storage space in the U.S. totals 2.3 billion sqft. [Source: Statistic Brain]
- That is equal to 82.5 square miles.
- If you combined all of the self-storage facilities, they would be almost the size of Las Vegas (83.3 square miles).
34. There are 48,500 storage units in the U.S. [Source: Huffington Post]
- There are more self-storage units in the U.S. than McDonald’s and Starbucks locations combined.
35. The most expensive markets to rent a 10×10 storage unit in are: [Source: Self-Storage Performance Quarterly]
- San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont: $160/m
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana: $153/m
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara: $153/m
- New York-Newark-Edison: $137/m
- San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA: $136/m
We hope you enjoyed the stats, and don’t forget—when moving it can be extremely helpful to store extra items in a storage unit! Simply Self Storage can help you find a safe and affordable unit, online and hassle-free. This could make your move a whole lot easier!