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‘They’re Coming To South Dakota’ Research shows people moving from ‘Blue States’ to ‘Red States’

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A new study seems to indicate Americans are fleeing states completely controlled by Democrats, such as New York and California, for states generally run by Republicans, such as Idaho and South Dakota.

This is not lost to Gov. Kristi Noem, a conservative Republican who touted the United Van Lines research via this Tuesday Twitter post.

“Pretty cool! South Dakota was 5th in the country for percentage of inbound migration, according to United Van Lines. Folks are moving to South Dakota because they value Freedom and our way of life!”

United Van Lines is An American moving and relocation company, United Van Lines is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based UniGroup Inc.

“As more people experience job and lifestyle changes amid the pandemic like remote working, we’re seeing they have more flexibility in where they can live – many choosing to move from urban to more rural areas,” company spokesperson Eily Cummings said.

According to company data for customers’ 2020 state-to-state migration patterns, Idaho was the state with the highest percentage of people moving in versus moving out, with 70% of the relocations going to Idaho. In the 2020 election, President Donald Trump carried Idaho by more than 30 percentage points over Democrat Joe Biden.

Conversely, the state with the highest percentage (70%) of people leaving was New Jersey. Biden carried New Jersey by about 16 percentage points.

“United Van Lines’ data makes it clear that migration to western and southern states, a prevalent pattern for the past several years, persisted in 2020,” said Michael A. Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at UCLA. “However, we’re seeing that the COVID-19 pandemic has without a doubt accelerated broader moving trends, including retirement driving top inbound regions as the baby boomer generation continues to reach that next phase of life.”

For South Dakota, the United Van Lines data shows 62% of people making a move in 2020 were arriving in the state. This matches the general trend, as Trump won South Dakota by about 26 percentage points.

There are some noteworthy exceptions to the pattern. Deep blue Oregon continues to draw new residents, as the study shows 63% of 2020 moves involving the state were inbound.

Conversely, North Dakota — whose voters supported Trump by more than 33 points — saw 57% of its 2020 movers leaving the state.

United Van Lines also conducts a survey examining the reasons behind Americans’ migration patterns as a companion to the study’s findings. This year’s survey results indicated 40% of Americans who moved did so for a new job or job transfer (down from prior years), while more than one in four (27%) moved to be closer to family (which is significantly up over prior years).

“Each year, our United Van Lines study provides critical insights into broader migration patterns and Americans’ moving motivations. As the largest household goods mover in the country, United Van Lines’ data-driven insights uniquely point to national trends and, this year particularly, the resounding impact of COVID-19 on moving choices and the moving industry,” Cummings added.

Comparing Migration Trends With Presidential VoteBelow are comparisons for states’ migration patterns found by this study against the 2020 presidential election vote for those states.

Top 10 Inbound States in 2020:Idaho — 70% inbound; Trump won by 30 points

South Carolina — 64% inbound; Trump won by 12 points

Oregon — 63% inbound; Biden won by 16 points

South Dakota — 62% inbound; Trump won by 26 points

Arizona — 62% inbound; Biden won by one-tenth of a point

North Carolina — 60% inbound; Trump won by 1.3 points

Tennessee — 60% inbound; Trump won by 23 points

Alabama — 60% inbound; Trump won by 25 points

Florida — 60% inbound; Trump won by 3.3 points

Arkansas — 59% inbound; Trump won by 27 points

Top 10 Outbound States in 2020:New Jersey — 70% outbound; Biden won by 16 points

New York — 67% outbound; Biden won by 23 points

Illinois — 66% outbound; Biden won by 17 points

Connecticut — 63% outbound; Biden won by 20 points

California — 59% outbound; Biden won by 29 points

Kansas — 59% outbound; Trump won by 15 points

North Dakota — 57% outbound; Trump won by 33 points

Massachusetts — 57% outbound; Biden won by 34 points

Ohio — 56% outbound; Trump won by 8 points

Maryland — 55% outbound; Biden won by 33 points

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