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‘Bid farewell to old Kentucky’: More people moving from Bluegrass State than moving in

Kentucky ranked eighth on United Van Lines’ annual “Most Moved From States” list.
Kentucky ranked eighth on United Van Lines’ annual “Most Moved From States” list. United Van Lines

There’s a line from the song “Man of Constant Sorrow” that goes “I bid farewell to old Kentucky.” It turns out there’s truth in that, because 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.

In 2017, more residents moved out of Kentucky than into the Bluegrass State: 56 percent of the moves were 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.

In 2017, more residents moved out of Illinois than any other state: 63 percent of the moves were outbound.

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

The study is based on household moves handled by United within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.

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

The 325 million people in the United States live in two very different areas: Big-county America and small-county America.

Top outbound states for 2017

  • Illinois
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Connecticut
  • Kansas
  • Massachusetts
  • Ohio
  • Kentucky
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin

Top inbound states for 2017

  • Vermont
  • Oregon
  • Idaho
  • Nevada
  • South Dakota
  • Washington
  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • Colorado
  • Alabama
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