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Study shows more Hoosiers moving out of Indiana; Indiana Chamber of Commerce disagrees

The annual migration pattern study by Atlas shows where people are moving and why. The mover has been conducting its annual study for more than 50 years.

INDIANAPOLIS — New research shows Hoosiers are leaving Indiana in increasing numbers. In fact, more people are moving out of Indiana than almost every other state, according to Atlas Van Lines.

"Probably the most interesting thing that happened in the last couple of years is that Indiana is second only to Illinois in terms of states that people are leaving, and as much as some of us don't like that because we love the beautiful Hoosier state and we're located here, it is because of the societal changes that have been happening in the last couple of years," said Oana Schneider, marketing specialist with Atlas.

The annual migration pattern study by Atlas shows where people are moving and why. The leading national mover has been conducting its annual study for more than 50 years, using incoming and outgoing shipments to track yearly interstate, or between states, moves to define trends in nationwide migration.

Indiana residents are moving away for work opportunities, to be closer to family and better quality of life. 

While Indiana is considered one of the most affordable states, experts said the study shows cost of living is no longer a top priority.  

Because Indiana was considered an "outbound" state for each of the past 10 years, and even more outbound in 2022, experts expect this trend to continue.

Credit: Atlas Van Lines

So, where are Hoosiers going? Experts said many are choosing Florida or Texas for better weather and a lower income tax. The study showed in 2022 that Indiana had a 59% outbound rate compared to 41% inbound. Florida was just the opposite, with 59% inbound rate comparted to 41% outbound.

The Atlas study shows that all Great Lakes states except Wisconsin are considered outbound in 2022.

But the Indiana Chamber of Commerce disagrees with the Atlas study and its findings.

“The recent information Atlas provided media is incomplete and highly inaccurate. Indiana is not a net population loser and certainly not the second worst state in the nation for it. In reality, Indiana continues to see increased migration of people to the state,” said Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar.

Brinegar said Atlas' report seems to be based on its shipments in and out of state, which could be based on a number of factors outside population change. 

According to the U.S. Census, Indiana actually grew in population by an estimated 19,500 people. Census data also shows a positive net migration to Indiana – not a greater number of people leaving.

"More complete information from the U.S. Census and IRS is what our research consultant suggests to properly illustrate Indiana’s current population," Brinegar said.

On Monday, Atlas provided this statement regarding the focus of the study:

“Atlas’ annual Migration Patterns Study tracks the nation’s interstate, cross-border, and international moves strictly utilizing Atlas Van Lines internal data. The study is not focused on demographics and does not track population growth. The study also does not include data related to anyone who may have moved to Indiana independently, by renting a truck themselves, or with help from friends and family. Our data found that, of the moves facilitated by Atlas Van Lines in 2022, there was a greater number of outbound moves from Indiana than in previous years. In 2022, Atlas moved a total weight of over 497 million lbs. and nearly 72 million miles in the U.S. and Canada.”

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