Moving to Another State: Long Distance Moving Costs

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Long distance moves can be either an adventure or a headache, depending on your experience and point of view.
According to the U.S Census Bureau, 34.9% of all moves are long distance, and on average, a long distance move costs nearly double what it costs to move locally.
The average cost of moving to a different state is $4,300, and the average cost of moving locally is $2,300, according to the American Moving and Storage Association. From buying moving boxes to hiring movers, it’s an expensive endeavor.
In the infographic below, we’ll look at some of the statistics of long distance moves, such as how much it costs, why people are moving long distances, and where they are going.

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Top 3 Reasons for Long Distance Moves

The reasons for taking on a long distance move are as wide and varied as the people who are moving.
By reviewing Census data, we found that 22.2% of long distance movers do so for work — either a new job or a job transfer. Next, 14.9% of people report family as the reason they take on a long distance move. And 8.7% of long distance movers did so because they wanted a new or better home or apartment. (We can only imagine that they were browsing online listings of luxury apartments with balcony views of a new skyline.)

Where Are People Moving?

Using the numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau, we took at where people are moving from, and where they are moving to.
The results reveal that the western region of the U.S. is the least active for long distance moves. Only 18.8% of long distance moves originate from the West, and only 18.3% of movers relocate to the West.
Conversely, the South is the most active region of long distance moving. 36.3% of long distance moves originate from the southern states, and 38.9% of movers relocate to the South.
As to the Northeast, we find that 24.2% of long distance movers originate there, but far fewer people move to the Northeast. Only 13.7% of long distance movers move to those states, showing a negative net migration with more people leaving than arriving.
The relocation numbers for Midwest fall somewhere in the middle. Movers leaving the region account for 20.7% of all long distance moves, and 18.3% of long distance movers move there.
Regional Migration of Long Distance Movers
From the Northeast to the:
South: 322,000
West: 97,000
Midwest: 51,000
From the Midwest to the:
South: 197,000
West: 172,000
Northeast: 34,000
From the South to the:
West: 296,000
Midwest: 244,000
Northeast: 166,000
From the West to the:
South: 238,000
Northeast: 67,000
Midwest: 60,000

What is the Average Moving Cost?

Moving can be a significant expense. And while each move has its own factors that determine your total cost, there are some guidelines that you can use when calculating the cost of a long-distance move with a full-service mover.
While local moves are priced based on the number of hours and the number of movers, the calculations for long distance moves are a bit different. The two main factors that determine your cost are the distance that you are moving and the total shipment weight.
To calculate the distance side of the equation, start with a simple Google search to learn the exact mileage. For example, Indianapolis to Philadelphia is 643 miles. To help with your estimates, keep in mind that the average long distance move is 1,225 miles. Of course, your mover will walk you through their exact price structure, but a baseline cost estimate is $1 per mile.
To calculate the shipment weight, it’s much easier to use average weights than to start weighing your dishes and furnishings.The average weight of objects in a studio apartment is 1,800-2,000 pounds. The furnishings in a 1-bedroom apartment weigh on average 2,500-3,500 pounds. And a 2-bedroom home weighs approximately 5,000-6,000 pounds. A baseline cost estimate would be $1 per 1,000 pounds.
For example, in a 1,225-mile move of 3,000 pounds, the distance calculations would be $1 x 1,225, multiplied by the weight calculations of $1 x 3. That would make the total cost of that move about $3,675.
Each move is unique, as is each moving company. When you are getting moving quotes from full-service movers, speak with them about the particulars of your move to get an accurate price quote. Be prepared that there may be additional charges for packing and unpacking, furniture disassembly, and difficult loading or unloading situations.

What Does it Cost in My City?

Location is a significant factor when it comes to moving. Due to the variety in relocation patterns, we see this translating to cost figures of how much people are spending on a long-distance moves. After running a comprehensive analysis of city-by-city data, here are the average amounts residents are spending on their long distance move.
Average Moving Costs By City
Chicago: $2,461
Atlanta: $2,536
Dallas: $2,973
NYC: $2,999
Cleveland: $3,030
Denver: $3,275
Houston: $3,442
Boston: $3,553
Phoenix: $3,589
Los Angeles: $4,509

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