Texas Leads Nation in Relocations

by James McClister

Texas leads nation in annual inbound moves, and Houston leads Texas.


Texas sits at the apex of geographic magnetism in the U.S., attracting thousands of new residents to the state each year like flecks of iron. According to Indiana-based Atlas Van Lines’, which releases an annual study detailing the migration patterns of the preceding year, in 2014, Texas, for the third year in a row, attracted more cross-border household moves than any other state in the union.

In the last 12 months, more than 7,800 families staked their claim in the Lone Star State, compared to the 5,336 who left for greener pastures. Both inbound and outbound figures in Texas are down slightly from 2013, but still represent nearly a decade of a positive outbound to inbound ratios.

The Houston Magnet

Situated at the epicenter of the state’s powerful pull, like a funnel, Houston has proven itself an engine of interest, attracting major investment from developers and industry, particular energy, around the world, which, in turn, brings employees and their accompany families.

In its annual relocation report, the Texas Association of Realtors heralded Houston as a cacophony of moving parts, with upwards of 85,000 people relocating to the area in 2014, and of those, nearly 86 percent – or 73,214 – hailed from out of state. However, despite experiencing the state’s largest influx of people, Houston fell to the No. 10 spot for overall net gains of people.

Is Losing Jobs a Good Thing?

The discrepancy is likely a result of Houston’s turnover rate, a product of the notoriously fluid energy sector. As the nation’s defacto energy hub, Houston is particularly sensitive to the ebbs and flow of the market. In recent months, crude prices have plummeted, and it looks as though they might remain relatively low throughout, at least, the beginning of the new year.

Energy companies in Houston have already begun executing huge cuts to the workforce. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Patrick Jankowski, research economist at the Greater Houston Partnership, said that Houston will lose 9,000 energy employees in 2015, while the less optimistic Bill Gilmer, an economist with the University of Houston, told the publication the figure could be closer to 28,000. But the development isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The city’s construction sector has been in dire need of new labor for some time. With any luck, an influx of workers to local pools will ultimately result in the replenishing of now dangerously low inventory levels.

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