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Key Moving Statistics and Industry Trends for 2024

Top10.com Staff
Key Moving Statistics and Industry Trends
At one point or another, we’ve all had to go through the excitement and stress of moving. Whether you ask friends and family to help you, hire a major company to handle all of the details, or land somewhere in between, this list of moving statistics and industry trends will most likely resonate with you.

We were fascinated to observe the data supporting the concept that many Americans like to fly the coop and leave their hometowns—but most prefer not to go far. Read on for a glimpse into the movements and mindsets of the American public.

Moving in America Statistics: 

  • On average, Americans move 11.7 times during their lifetime. (Consumer Affairs, 2023)
  • Approximately 28.2 million people moved within the United States in 2022. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2023)
  • The national mover rate, representing the total number of people who moved in the U.S. compared to the national population, was 8.7% in 2022. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2023)
  • Nearly as many people move for housing reasons (41.6%) as for family (26.5%) or work (16.1%) combined. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2023)

Moving Industry Overview

For consumers in search of the best moving service and business owners navigating annual budgets, these statistics can serve as a valuable compass to navigate the evolving landscape of the moving industry. 

What Does the U.S Moving Industry Look Like?
  • The U.S. moving services industry reached a market size of $22.5 billion in 2022. (Statista, 2023
  • Roughly 7,000 moving companies currently operate in the U.S., using 50,000 moving trucks and employing approximately 122,600 workers. (Consumer Affairs, 2023)
  • Between 2023 and 2028, the global self-storage and moving services market size is projected to grow by $51.53 billion at a compound annual growth rate of 8.95%. (Technavio, 2023)
  • In 2023, 20.3 million tons of freight, valued at $20.3 billion, were transported within the U.S. (Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2023)
  • Approximately 73.7% of the weight of goods was moved less than 250 miles from its origin to its destination in 2023. (Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2023)
  • Most moving services work in residential moving, with commercial moving, warehouse services, and other related services only making up a fraction of moving services. (IBISWorld, 2023)

The Ways People Move 

Americans’ moving patterns shift based on the country’s economy, housing market and other factors—and not always in the ways we might expect. For example, the recent decline in people moving in favor of cheaper housing is surprising when we note that the homes for sale in 2023 were the least affordable on record. 

High Housing Costs Aren't Stopping People on the Move

When asked about this trend, Daniel Graves of Graves Realty in Florida replied, “Many of my clients are seeking extra space for home offices or leisure areas, prioritizing lifestyle and functionality over cost. It's a shift from mere affordability to a focus on long-term value and personal needs.” Let’s explore some more unique statistics about today’s movers.

Who’s Relocating

  • The people completing an average move in the U.S. are couples between the ages of 18 and 34 with one or two children. (Consumer Affairs, 2023)
  • The majority of American movers are renters. (Consumer Affairs, 2023)
  • People moving in search of cheaper housing declined by 1.2 percentage points from the previous year, even though only 15.5% of homes for sale in 2023 were affordable for a typical American household—the lowest share on record in the United States. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2023)
  • Individuals and families make up 44% of relocations. (Consumer Affairs, 2023)
  • The migration rate among Hispanic Americans hit 15% in 2022, nearly double that of Caucasian individuals for the same year. (Consumer Affairs, 2023)

How They’re Moving

  • Trucks move the majority of goods in the U.S., handling over 13.1 billion tons of freight in 2023. (Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2023)
  • U-Haul rented out their moving trucks, trailers and U-Box moving containers through more than 2.5 million one-way rental transactions in 2023. (U-Haul, 2024)
  • The most common house size people move is a one-bedroom home, accounting for 28.1% of all moves. (Nexus, 2023)

Where They’re Heading

Most Americans Move Locally...But Long-Distance Moves Are on the Rise
  • The most common type of move is within the same county, accounting for 53.5% of moves in 2022. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2023)
  • 8.2 million people moved between U.S. states in 2022. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2023)
  • The most popular states to relocate to include Florida, Idaho, South Carolina, Texas, and South Dakota. (Top10, 2023)
  • Some 102,442 Californians moved to Texas in 2022, the largest number of state-to-state movers in the U.S. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2023)
  • Americans are moving away from New York, Illinois, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Hawaii more often than other states. (Top10, 2023)
  • Longer distance moves have increased in recent years, with numbers from 2021 to 2022 moving up 1.1% for moves across county lines, up 1.1% for moves from out-of-state, and up 2.6% for those moving from abroad. The removal of COVID travel restrictions for international travelers is believed to play a part in the rise of international moves. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2023)

When They’re Going

  • Eight in ten of all moves happen between April and September, while just 20% take place from October through March. (MovingLabor, 2022)
  • Average moving costs are highest in the summer months, as reflected by the $13,873 average moving price peak seen in July 2022. (This Old House, 2024)
  • There is typically no statistically significant impact on moving price quotes based on the day of the week. (This Old House, 2024)

The Costs of Moving

A variety of factors, such as the distance you’re moving, the size of the home being moved, and the time of year, can have a major impact on the price you’re quoted for your planned move. We’ll examine some of those factors and learn how much the moving company employees are taking home. 

Average Moving Cost per Mile Based on Home Size

Distance + Helpers

  • The average cost of a local move equals roughly $560 to $1,000, while a long-distance move costs around $5,500. (Consumer Affairs, 2023)
  • A do-it-yourself move will typically cost between $100 and $2,500, depending on the size of the move. (Consumer Affairs, 2023)
  • The average moving cost per mile depends on the home’s size, with studios and one bedrooms costing $31.42, 2-3 bedrooms is $43.94, and 4+ bedrooms is $48.77. (This Old House, 2024)
  • A cross-country move will cost between $2,500 and $5,000, with additional potential costs for packing services and insurance. (US News & World Report, 2023)
  • Sixty-four percent of people who hired a moving company in 2022 paid an average of $2,282 more than they were originally quoted. (This Old House, 2024)

Why Americans Are Moving

Moving can be an emotionally charged endeavor. Or it could simply be a matter of following work orders. The reasons we move can be blurry for some and crystal clear for others. 

Americans Are Leaving Home But Not Going Far

We noted that many people leave their hometowns in order to build their work future and/or their own home base. But when paired with the data below that reveals many want to stay in proximity to their family members, we are left to believe that those who chose to fly their home coop most likely come to rest not far away. 

When considering these trends, realtor Ryan Fitzgerald of Raleigh Realty tells us, “Many of the clients I work with, especially those in later career stages or empty nesters, express a strong desire to be nearer to adult children and grandchildren. Proximity to aging parents is another common consideration for my clients.”

Emotional Connection

  • 11.2% of Americans moved in order to establish their own homes, and 6% cited a marital status change as their reason for moving in 2022. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2023)
  • Louisiana, Alabama, New Mexico, Arkansas, and West Virginia have been identified as the loneliest states in the U.S. (Top10, 2024)
  • Utah, Hawaii, California, Idaho, and New Jersey are recognized as the least lonely states in the U.S. (Top10, 2024)
  • Research shows that individuals who underwent multiple moves during childhood are more likely to experience adverse health outcomes later in life. (Nexus, 2023)
  • Fifty-five percent of U.S. adults state that they live within a one-hour drive of at least some of their extended family. (Pew Research, 2022)
  • Roughly 75% of people say it is at least somewhat important to them personally to live in a community where family is nearby. (Pew Research, 2022)

Moving On Up

The Flow of Work

  • 9.2% of Americans moved due to a new job or work transfer in 2022, a noticeable increase from 8.8% the previous year. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2023
  • The second most common reason for relocation is due to a corporate move, which accounts for 38% of all relocations in the U.S. (Consumer Affairs, 2023)
  • Fewer people moved because they lost their jobs (1.3% in 2022 vs. 1.5% in 2021) as the U.S. unemployment rate continued to decline (from 3.9% in December 2021 to 3.5% in December 2022). (U.S. Census Bureau, 2023 and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023)
  • According to a survey by North American Moving Services, 27% of women and 41% of men said they moved away from their hometowns to advance their careers. (North American, 2022)

2024 Moving Industry Trends to Watch

After several tumultuous years dealing with the pandemic, inflation, and the anxiety of a potential housing market crash, these moving industry trends are worth keeping an eye on this year.

Trickle-Down Inflation

The state of the housing market, and our economy in general, significantly impacts the revenue of the residential and nonresidential moving industry. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates while fuel and other related expenses increased due to inflation. Each of those elements coming together may push the pricing of some moving services higher than average Americans are used to.

Jim Olenbush of Austin Real Estate in Texas has noticed the shift. “Based on what we've seen over these past couple of years, fuel, transportation, labor, you name it, it's all getting more expensive. I can't see how the moving companies avoid passing some of those increased costs on to consumers. It's going to be a tough situation all around.”

To Rent or Not to Rent?

Thanks in part to high interest rates, the U.S. will continue to see fewer homebuyers in the market. That leads to growing numbers of homes for rent. And since renters only commit to a lease for a set amount of time, they move more often than homeowners. So you can anticipate busier moving companies as they work to serve as many movers as possible.

“We're already seeing an uptick in rental inquiries,” Ryan Nelson of Rental Real Estate noted, “as potential homebuyers decide to rent a little longer to save for a larger down payment or wait for more favorable finance conditions.”

Short-Term Relocations

Businesses are taking advantage of the lessons learned when we all became digital nomads working from home during the pandemic. Work mobility is more flexible than ever, and some companies are using short-term relocation assignments to enable their employees to focus on a specific project or business location. The relocation may last anywhere from three to six months or even a year.

Jonathan Faccone of Halo Homebuyers in New Jersey points out, “According to Zillow, around 70% of companies in the United States provide relocation incentives for either existing employees or new hires. This has created a new niche market for moving services, as individuals need assistance with temporary housing and relocation during these types of assignments.”

Find the Right Company for Your Move 

Take the time to research a reliable moving company that can meet your needs for the right price. You can use our handy moving checklist and tipping guide to make the process easier.

Top10.com Staff
Top10.com's editorial staff is a professional team of editors and writers with dozens of years of experience covering consumer, financial and business products and services.