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Oregon No. 1 destination for people on the move

Once again, people are flocking to Oregon.

That’s what a United Van Lines’ annual study discovered. Oregon is the No. 1 moving destination in the country, according to the study released in late December.

“With economic stability growing nationally, the current migration patterns reflect longer-term trends of movement to the southern and western 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, professor and chairman of UCLA’s Department of Public Policy. “Unique amenities such as outdoor recreation, arts and entertainment activities, and green space protection likely continue to propel Oregon to the top of the list for the second straight year.”

During the past year, United Van Lines tracked customers’ migration patterns state-to-state. The study found that Oregon is the top moving destination of 2014, with 66 percent of moves to and from the state being inbound — nearly 5 percent increase of inbound moves compared to 2013.

South Carolina was No. 2 on the list (61 percent inbound), followed in third place by North Carolina (61 percent).

The District of Columbia, which held the top spot on the inbound list from 2008 to 2012 and ranked fourth last year, fell to No. 7 this year with 57 percent inbound moves.

More people are leaving the Northeast, with New Jersey (65 percent outbound), New York (64 percent) and Connecticut (57 percent) making the list of top outbound states for the third consecutive year. Most of those leaving the North­east were heading for retirement elsewhere, according to the survey.

The mountain west had the highest number of retirees moving to the region, with nearly one in three people saying they relocated there to retire, according to the survey.

United has tracked migration patterns annually since 1977. For 2014, the study is based on household moves handled by United within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. 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.

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