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Atlas Van Lines: More Folks Moving out of Minnesota than South Dakota

Last updated on 2017.04.18

The annual Atlas Van Lines moving survey gives an estimate of each state's net migration. South Dakota beat Minnesota in the ratio of folks moving in versus folks moving out, but both states lost more than they gained:

Atlas Van Lines moving survey 2013
(click to enlarge!)

In Minnesota, 58% of Atlas Van customers were moving out. In South Dakota, 52% were outbound. North Dakota enjoyed the highest in-migration rate, with 67% of moving van customers coming in, likely to the Bakken oil fields.

Even if a big chunk of those dissastisfied Minnesotans are coming to South Dakota, it's not quite enough to stop the bleeding.

Update 2017.04.18 09:48 CDT: I noticed the link in the Atlantic article to the Atlas Van Lines 2013 survey has gone dead. Here's a new link to Atlas's 2013 data on migration patterns.


  1. Deb Geelsdottir/ 2014.01.10

    It would be very interesting to find out why those Minnesotans are leaving. Dissatisfaction, job, family, education, weather? Statistically here, the biggest draw is the Bakken.

  2. Deb Geelsdottir/ 2014.01.10

    Much more curiously, I wonder what the draw is in that southeast strip of states, South Carolina and Tennessee? I haven't heard a word about a boom in manufacturing, tech, or anything else there. I'm befuddled.

    Doesn't look encouraging for Canada.
    (My favorite, not-USA, country.)

  3. Stan Gibilisco 2014.01.10

    Does one van line's data constitute an accurate cross section of the actual state of affairs?

  4. grudznick 2014.01.10

    French math.

  5. Larry 2014.01.10

    South Dakotans are too poor to hire someone to move them. They get relatives and vans.

  6. interested party 2014.01.10

    Republicans fleeing Minnesota, Democrats fleeing South Dakota, retired fleeing Wyoming, poor going to North Dakota, young going to Montana, white going to Idaho.

  7. jerry 2014.01.10

    Damn Larry and Larry, you boys smacked the nail on the head. I would add, horse trailers and pickups stacked to the limit are how we move here. The only movers we care about are on Saturday night on the dance floor. When we hear Atlas, we think blizzard.

  8. Jenny 2014.01.10

    Deb, I know Mayo Clinic employees, when they are a few years from retirement, frequently transfer to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale Arizona or Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida. It's a nice gig for them.

  9. grudznick 2014.01.10

    Idaho. They make some good taters there.

  10. Jenny 2014.01.10

    I'm sure it's only b/c of Sioux Falls that SD is balanced on this chart. It's fascinating how that city keep growing at a fast rate. One thing the SD dems needs to realize is how important Sioux Falls is in order to win national elections. Wake up the dems in Sioux Falls! You guys need them!

  11. PNR 2014.01.10

    Maybe they're not leaving MN (or SD). Maybe they're just using Mayflower when they head in, and Atlas when they head out. It's an interesting map, but all it really tells us is where Atlas is doing business - helpful for them, but not for any serious demographic conclusions.

    That will give you census estimates (there's a link to a spreadsheet on the page). They only estimate Rhode Island as actually declining in population. They also have relative population growth in MN about half that of SD (1.9% since 2010 vice 3.7% for SD - for ND they're estimating about 7.6%).

  12. grudznick 2014.01.10

    BAH. The influx of non-rapists to the sweet countryside communities is what is balancing the charts.

  13. Deb Geelsdottir/ 2014.01.10

    Larry, your description of who is moving where is very good. Thanks.

  14. interested party 2014.01.11

    Retirees are fleeing Nebraska for Texas, Oregon is receiving young Democrats, New Mexico is static because it's enchanted.

  15. mike from iowa 2014.01.11

    Texas,Utah,N Dakota and Georgia are four of the top five states in job growth and at the top of population growth as well. From 2000-2005,S Carolina had the largest influx of foreigners in America. According to stats,most people move one state over. iowa loses elderly population to warmer,Southern and Southwestern states,but it helps sell tickets when my beloved Hawkeyes football team(with the help of a S Dakota player or two) go bowling around New Years Day. Go Greenway and Reiff.

  16. Jenny 2014.01.11

    I know bad guys in prison, Grudz.

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