Studies show Oregon remains a prime moving destination

SALEM, Ore. — What is that magical element Oregon has that makes people want to live here? The environment? The people?

Whatever it is, it's working.

National migration statistics from 2012 show that Oregon is second in the nation among places where people are moving in — only Washington, D.C., is higher.

Both United Van Lines and Atlas Van Lines, two of the largest moving companies in the country, released their annual migration studies this week. The studies examined data on the number of shipments between states to keep track of the rate people are entering and leaving each state.

Combined, the studies tracked more than 393,000 shipments among all 50 states and the nation's capital.

The high rating reflects well on the Beaver State, showing that more people are relocating to the area in pursuit of job opportunities and a higher quality of life.

Many of the transfers are done through corporations, indicating that jobs are bringing in many movers. Tim Evans, general manager at Swartz Moving and Storage in Portland, said that 92 percent of his business is done through corporate relocation.

"United Van Lines moves about 400 of the Fortune 500 companies," he said. "We're seeing positive indicators in corporate relocations. Our business isn't back from pre-recession levels, but we're seeing slow growth."

Both companies went by a threshold, as opposed to raw numbers, to indicate which states had a high inbound or outbound rate. A high inbound rate, for example, is characterized by a state having a more than 55 percent rate of people moving in. Anything below that means a state is considered to be in balance — that is, a fairly equal number of people are moving in and moving out.

Oregon's inbound rate, calculated from the combined data, was 59.51 percent, second only to the District of Columbia's 63.81 percent.

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