11 Moving Statistics Everyone Should Know

by Dusty Rhodes on Feb 20, 2020  in 
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thats a stat and a fact

Whether it is a local move or a cross-country move, moving is a process virtually everyone does at least several times throughout their lives. Within the moving industry, there are different types of moves including local moves, state moves, regional moves, and international moves, and no matter the type, belongings must be packed with a plan in place. The moving industry is fascinating with its various statistics and facts that deal with national migration patterns and cost comparisons between moving companies, and it is vital to review the information before beginning the moving process.


1. The top 5 states people are moving to are Idaho, Washington, North Carolina, New Mexico, and Tennessee. (Source: Forbes)

At 62.3%, the state with the highest share of inbound moves is Idaho. The states with the highest amount of inbound moves are the states focused on job growth, low cost of living, and low crime rates. Especially for retirees, temperature also plays a role in people moving to new states with southern states including North Carolina, New Mexico, and Tennessee having mild winters and warm summers.

2. The top 5 states people are moving from are New York, West Virginia, South Dakota, Illinois, and Louisiana. (Source: Forbes)

At 62.7%, the state with the highest share of outbound moves is New York. Surprisingly, New York contributes the highest amount of Florida’s inbound moves since 63,722 people moved from New York to Florida in 2018. States with high percentages of outbound moves have people looking for lower costs of living, a higher safety rating, warmer weather, and more economic stability.


3. It takes the average person 182 days to fully unpack after a move. (Source: New York Post)

Depending on the distance and number of items, the actual moving of items takes only a few hours to a few days. However, the unpacking process takes people approximately 6 months to finish. One of the main reasons the unpacking process takes so long is time (or lack of it). For a move, people have to take time off of work or schedule it for the weekend, but then they must return back to work and other responsibilities which leaves little time to unpack their belongings. Most people unpack the essentials like dishes first, and seasonal items like holiday décor are the last to be unpacked. To speed up the unpacking process, people should set a goal of unpacking so many boxes a week until all of the boxes have been unpacked.


4. Approximately 10% of all moves are due to a new job or job relocation. (Source:

Accounting for approximately 10% of all moves, moving for a job is only the 4th most common reason people move. Whether starting a new job or being transferred by their current company, people are often faced with the task of moving for job-related purposes. In addition, people list job growth and economic stability as two of the determining factors when choosing a new location to call home.

5. The average American moves 11.4 times during their lifetime. (Source: FiveThirtyEight)

Compared to other countries, the United States has one of the highest moving ratios, and this is represented by people moving so often. On average, someone in the United States will move 11.4 times during his or her lifetime. A number of factors affect how many times someone will move including age, financial status, job type, and geographical location. People are more likely to move in their 20s and 30s than at or near retirement age.

6. Accounting for 16% of all moves, the top reason people move is for a new or better house. (Source:

Out of all the residential moves in the United States, the most common reason to move is for a new or better house. Whether it is more square footage, a new pool, historical features, or a state-of-the-art home theater, people are looking for different items in a home, and these items are determining factors when people purchase new houses. When looking for a new house, it is essential to make a list of non-negotiable factors (ex. location, number of bedrooms, etc.) and negotiable ones (ex. in-ground pool, granite countertops, etc.) but realize that it is impossible to have everything off of both lists. Compromises will have to be made because no house is perfect.


7. In the United States, the most popular days to move are between May 30 and June 1. (Source: Move Matcher)

The most popular time to move is during the summer, and in particular, the most popular days are between May 30 and June 1 which is typically around Memorial Day weekend. Around Memorial Day is a popular time for a move because people have time off of work which means they can avoid taking personal days off. In general, the summer is ideal for families to move because children are out of school, and they can start in a new school at the start of the new school year. Moving during the summer months is also ideal because people have more time to unpack and settle in without the stress of the holidays and do not have to wonder about the possibility of winter weather hindering a move.

8. For a cross-country move, the average cost is $10,000 for a full-service moving company and $4,500 for a moving container company. (Source: Dave Ramsey)

Moving costs are impacted by a number of factors including the size of items to be moved, the weight of items to be moved, the distance between the two locations, and the time of year. Moving companies are ideal when the moving takes place during a short timeframe, and moving container companies are ideal when the moving takes place over a longer timeframe and storage is needed. Before beginning the moving process, people should create a budget for all moving expenses (ex. supplies, company, travel, utility switches, etc.) to avoid going overbudget.

9. In 45 years, the average American house size has increased by 910 square feet. (Source:

In 1973, the average American house size was 1,523 square feet with the average household at 3.01 people, and in 2018, the average American house size was 2,435 square feet with the average household at 2.53 people. In just 45 years, the average house size increased by 63%, but the average household size shrank by 19%. People now want more luxuries in a house including guest rooms, walk-in closets, playrooms, workout rooms, home offices, and home theaters.

10. In the United States, 84% of moves are within the same state while 16% of moves are to a different state. (Source: Forbes)

When people imagine a move, most imagine a cross-country move, but less than 1/5 of all moves are to a different state. The majority of moves are within the same state whether it is the same county or a different county. It is important to realize that while people do move to other states (and even different countries) most moves happen within the same state.



11. For a 3 bedroom house, the average move takes between 80-100 boxes. (Source: Angie’s List)

While it takes between 80-100 boxes to move a 3 bedroom home, the boxes will be of various sizes and functions. Different box types include small boxes (1.5 cubic feet), medium boxes (3 cubic feet), large boxes (4.5 cubic feet), wardrobe boxes, and dish packing boxes. To avoid having a high number of boxes, people will try to fill the boxes to the brim, but this should be avoided because the boxes will be too heavy to lift and could break from too much weight. When packing up items for a move, most people find they have too much “junk” and will declutter throughout the packing process, and to get rid of items, people typically trash, donate, or sell them.


Every move looks different, but whether it is a local move or a cross-country move, the most important thing is to create a plan and do research ahead of time. Throughout the moving process, many decisions will have to be made including what type of moving service (DIY, full service moving company, moving containers company, etc.), how much of the current house will be moved to the new house, when will the move take place, and where the new house will be. When moving, people should look at the research to provide guidance and direction on what to expect and what has happened in the past.

Dusty Rhodes