By Greg Kocher | Lexington Herald-Leader

A new study says more people left Kentucky in 2017 than moved in.

That migration pattern caused the state to rank eighth on United Van Lines’ annual Most Moved From States list.

Kentucky has a high outbound migration rate. | Courtesy United Van Lines

In 2017, more residents moved out of Kentucky than into the Bluegrass State, with 56 percent of the moves being outbound, the moving company said.

Of those moving out of Kentucky, nearly 55 percent cited a job as the reason for moving elsewhere, the study said. Proximity to family was the reason for nearly 24 percent of the moves out of Kentucky. Across all regions, nearly one in five of those who moved in 2017 moved to be closer to family.

Where are Americans going? Many are moving westward as the Northeast and Midwest lose residents.

“This year’s data reflects longer-term trends of movement to the western and southern states, especially to those where housing costs are relatively lower, climates are more temperate and job growth has been at or above the national average, among other factors,” said Michael Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, in a news release.

In 2017, more residents moved out of Illinois than any other state, with 63 percent of the moves being outbound. (United classifies states as “high inbound” if 55 percent or more of the moves are going into a state, “high outbound” if 55 percent or more moves were coming out of a state, or “balanced” if the difference between inbound and outbound is negligible.)

Vermont was the top moving destination in 2017, with nearly 68 percent of the moves being inbound, according to United Van Lines’ 41st Annual National Movers Study. The study tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns over the past year.

United Van Lines has tracked migration patterns annually on a state-by-state basis since 1977.

The top outbound states for 2017 were the following:
New Jersey
New York

The top inbound states for 2017 were the following:
South Dakota
South Carolina
North Carolina


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