Whatever the reason, more people are moving out of Pennsylvania than into it, according to a report released this week by national moving company Atlas Van Lines.
Atlas’ 2016 migration study found that 26 states registered as balanced — meaning that moves in and out of the states were roughly equal — while 15 showed more outbound moves, and nine plus Washington, D.C. showed more inbound moves.
Pennsylvania fell into the outbound category, with 55.22 percent of moves heading out of the state: 2,801 outbound and 2,271 coming in.
The state has been classified as outbound since 2013, Atlas found. Although classified as balanced for at least six years prior to that, exits annually edged out arrivals, although the numbers were comparable.
Indiana-based Atlas has conducted the study since 1993, to track the nation’s moving patterns year to year as reflected in moves handled by the company.
Its findings didn’t surprise industry observers here in Pennsylvania.
“These numbers are very supportive of what I see on a day-to-day basis in my role as a relocation consultant,” said Luke Shively, sales manager for Western Pennsylvania-based McNaughton Moving and Storage and a board member for Pennsylvania Moving and Storage Associates, a moving industry trade group.
Shively said many of the customers he sees on a daily basis have retired and are moving to warmer climates, or are leaving for better jobs in states with more favorable tax structures.
“At the corporate level, accounts are mass-moving people out of Pennsylvania to establish new divisions and branches in states that are more business friendly,” he said. “I believe that Pennsylvania’s above-average age demographics, combined with considerably higher-than-average taxes, are strong drivers of outbound tonnage eclipsing inbound tonnage.”
Atlas’ findings coincide with the recent release of U.S. Census data showing that Pennsylvania is one of eight states to lose population over the past year, dropping by 7,677 people to 12,784,227 residents as of July 1, 2016.