D.C. Leads Country In 'Inbound Moves,' According To United Van Lines' 2012 'Migration' Study

D.C.'s 'Lower Housing Costs' Make People Move Here?

WASHINGTON -- Why do so many people move to D.C.?

United Van Lines recently released its 2012 "migration" study, which finds -- once again -- that the nation's capital has the the country's highest percentage of people moving in. Sixty-four percent of the D.C. moves handled by United Van Lines in 2012 were inbound moves, according to the survey; 36 percent of the moves were people leaving the District.

This is the fifth year in a row that D.C.'s claimed the top slot -- Oregon was second, Nevada third, North Carolina and South Carolina took fourth and fifth place. The states with the highest outbound migration in 2012 were, from first to fifth, New Jersey, Illinois, West Virginia, New York and New Mexico.

In the media release accompanying survey results, UCLA professor and urban poverty expert Michael Stoll gave a (surprising) explanation as to why D.C. and the other top destinations made the list:

“While big states such as California, Texas and Florida have more total moves than other states because of their sheer size, other high inbound states such as Washington, D.C., Oregon and the Carolinas may be attractive places to move because of their lower housing costs, more temperate climate, diversified and growing economies, as well as maturing manufacturing bases and high technology clusters.”

HuffPost reached out to Stoll for clarification, given D.C.'s punishingly expensive housing market.

"Yes, the quote can be misinterpreted," he said. "What was meant is that among the areas with high migration (that is where in migration is greater than out migration) such as North Carolina and D.C. that a number of factors could explain this. And at least for North Carolina (and South Carolina and even some of Oregon) lower housing costs are playing a part.

"But not in D.C. since D.C. is a relatively high housing cost market. Other factors that I mentioned, including a maturing technology economy among many other factors, help explain D.C.'s position."

Stoll says that a robust federal government, "relatively more immune to business cycle fluctuations," also contributes to D.C.'s attractiveness. (A regrettable state of affairs, to some.)

"Plus, D.C. has many attractive amenities such as musuems, etc.," he said. "And with much lower crime rates and more local investment in pubic infrastructure, more people including (near) retirees and young professionals are choosing to locate there."

Louisiana, Iowa, Indiana, North Dakota, New Hampshire and Maryland are among the states that gained approximately the same number of residents as they lost, according to the survey.

While you're thinking about real estate, check out some of these D.C.-area properties that have their own gyms!

4 Thompson Circle NW, $7 Million

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