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Movers’ data shows flows into — and out of — Silver State

By John Seelmeyer
Published: Last Updated on

People are moving out of San Francisco Bay Area, and Nevada — particularly the Reno area — is among the places they’re landing.

You already knew that.

But new data from a couple of moving companies shows that things are more complicated than that.

For starters, United Van Lines says that it moved almost as many households out of Nevada as it moved into the Silver State last year.  Inbound moves accounted for about 52% of its business in Nevada last year, the household moving company said, while outbound moves accounted for 48%.

Then, too, the United Van Lines data found that people using its service to come to Nevada aren’t necessarily coming to take a new job.

Instead, about 29% of the United customers moving to Nevada said they were coming here to retire.  That percentage ranks eighth in the nation, United Van Lines said.

Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of the United customers — 23.8%, to be precise — said they decided to move to Nevada because they wanted a change in lifestyle.  Nevada ranked third in the United States in the percentage of new residents citing lifestyle, trailing only Wyoming and Idaho.

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Lifestyle changes might include an easier commute to work or other employment-related issues, but the United survey didn’t dig down that far. Among United customers who specifically cited a new job as their reason for a move, Nevada didn’t even rank among the top 10 last year.

The desire for a lower cost of living was cited as the primary reason to make a move by slightly more than 4% of the households using United to move to Nevada.

The states that showed the greatest inflows during 2020, at least according to United Van Lines loads, were Idaho, South Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota and Arizona. 

The largest numbers of people were moving out of New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Connecticut and California.

The Bay Area accounted for a lot of departures from California, found a separate study by U-Haul, and many of its rental trucks were headed for Reno.

The company said about 60% of its business in the Bay Area last year came from people moving out rather than people moving in. In reality, U-Haul said the number might have been even more lopsided but for the fact that people who wanted to move out sometimes couldn’t find a truck for rent.

While Sacramento, Stockton and San Diego were among the top destinations for U-Haul customers from the Bay Area, Reno was the top out-of-state destination. Las Vegas ranked second among destinations outside of California.

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