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(The Center Square) – More people are moving out of Ohio than moving in as the state is one of the top 10 in the nation for people leaving, according to a new study released by United Van Lines.

The 45th United Van Lines’ Annual National Movers Study showed Americans moved last year to lower-density areas and to be closer to family. A similar study from U-Haul, however, ranked Ohio in the middle of the pack (24th) for those moving out. U-Haul based its study on arrivals of one-way U-Haul trucks.

United Van Lines showed 56.3% of Ohio migration was outbound compared with 43.7% coming to the state. The top reason for leaving was job-related, followed by retirement and family. Other reasons for moving away from Ohio included health, lifestyle and cost.

Family topped the list for those moving in with nearly 44% of those coming to the state coming to be closer to family. Job opportunities ranked second.

Most people moving to and from the state were age 65 or older with income of $150,000 or more.

"Fewer people in Ohio means fewer consumers at stores, fewer employees at companies, fewer people starting businesses, and fewer people coming up with ideas to solve problems in the state,” said Rob Moore, principal at Scioto Analysis, a Columbus-based group that provides analysis of public issues in the state. "These are serious reasons for policymakers to be worried about Ohio losing residents.”

The United Van Lines study tracked the company’s data for state-to-state migration patterns. It showed Vermont as the state with the highest percentage of inbound migration. New Jersey showed the highest outbound migration.

The U-Haul study showed Texas as the highest-growth state, followed by Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina and Arizona. It showed California as the state with the most people moving out, followed by Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Alabama.

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.