More people moved away from Portland than moved in during peak relocation season

More people moved away from Portland than moved in during peak relocation season

Portland Aerial Tram celebrates 5 years
The Portland Aerial Tram passes by some of Portland’s landmark bridges and the Moda Center. (Randolph Collyn Glary/Special to the Oregonian)

Elliot Njus | enjus@oregonian.comBy Elliot Njus |
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on September 09, 2014 at 9:48 AM, updated September 09, 2014 at 2:51 PM


More people left the Portland area over the summer than moved in, a new study found.

The moving company United Van Lines, which has mined its moving contracts for migration data for 37 years, said Portland was among the metro areas with the biggest moving deficits. Outbound moves outnumbered inbound moves 2 to 1.

The findings are at odds with the region’s reputation for strong in-migration and United’s own data from a year ago.

The company reported in 2013 that Oregon was the top destination state for movers over the course of that calendar year — and it was runner-up for four years in a row before that.

Michael Stoll, an economist at University of California Los Angeles contracted to interpret the data for United, said the shift comes not because more people are moving out of Oregon. Instead, he said, fewer people are moving into the area, particularly from California.

“You’re not seeing the same inflow to Oregon in part because the outflow from California has dropped,” Stoll said.

He said it’s too early to say if this is represents a reversal of the years of strong in-migration.

“I don’t know if this is going back to normal or a deviation from a trend, but it’s certainly a departure from the last two or three years,” he said.

The summer migration study includes the period from May through August, when 40 percent of the year’s moves take place. United will report the entire year’s moving data in January.

Charles Rynerson of the Population Research Center at Portland State University said other migration indicators — like tax return data and driver’s license trade-ins — available in mid-November that may shed more light on the trends.

The survey found 43.2 percent of people who left the Portland area did so because of a new job, 33.3 percent because of a job transfer, 12.4 percent to retire and 8.6 percent for health or other personal reasons.

Top destination metros

  1. Chicago, Ill.
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Atlanta, Ga.
  4. Boston, Mass.
  5. Los Angeles, Calif.
  6. Dallas, Texas
  7. Phoenix, Ariz.
  8. New York N.Y.
  9. Minneapolis, Minn.
  10. San Diego, Calif.
  11. Houston, Texas
  12. Philadelphia, Pa.
  13. Denver, Colo.
  14. Seattle, Wash.
  15. St. Louis, Mo.

Top metros of origin

  1. Washington, D.C.
  2. Dallas, Texas
  3. Atlanta, Ga.
  4. Houston, Texas
  5. Phoenix, Ariz.
  6. Chicago, Ill.
  7. Seattle, Wash.
  8. Los Angeles, Calif.
  9. Denver, Colo.
  10. San Jose, Calif.
  11. Portland, Ore.
  12. Charlotte, N.C.
  13. Minneapolis, Minn.
  14. Boston, Mass.
  15. San Diego, Calif.

— Elliot Njus


About - Tom Ramsey, local Realtor

Local Portland Realtor with 10 years experience specializing in residential sales and investment property. Tom Ramsey Oregon Real Estate Principal Broker John L Scott Real Estate Phone: 503-481-0501
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