States People Are Leaving 2021

All of the states in the US are quite unique. Some offer great economic potential, others may offer amazing outdoors, but the fact of the matter is that there are states people are leaving 2021 in droves. Some states are simply more popular than others. This may have to do with the weather, job opportunities, or a variety of other factors. As people are always trying to find the best place for their home, it is natural that some states are experiencing an exodus of sorts. At Best Cross Country Movers, we are in a position to have first-hand experience with the topic, as we help people find the ideal moving company for the occasion. In this article, we will be detailing four of the states that have experienced the greatest number of relocations to another state.

4 States people are leaving 2021

While every state has its fair share of relocations, some have them more than others. The four states that have the highest percentage of interstate relocations are:

  • West Virginia
  • Alaska
  • Illinois
  • Hawaii

It stands to reason that moving companies in these states have their work cut out for them. With so many relocations throughout the year, it is getting increasingly difficult to secure help from one of the top residential movers in the area. You may need to start looking for a moving company ahead of time if you want to guarantee your moving date. With that in mind, let’s take a look at each state and the possible reasons for so many relocations.

a couple sitting on a sofa, amid moving boxes
Sometimes, the best way to improve your life is to relocate.

West Virginia

West Virginia has several notable issues. The job market can be challenging, the economy is somewhat weak, there’s a lot of cities that make it to “one of the worst places to live” list, the list goes on. You may even run into significant problems if you want to transport a car to another state, due to some “wacky” regulations. But we will get to that. For now, let’s take a look at the rankings to have a clearer picture of why people are leaving this state.

West Virginia rankings

The State of West Virginia ranks quite poorly on the overall rankings, as it is currently sitting on the #47 spot, according to However, this is not surprising, as the ranking has not changed since 2019. Here are the individual rankings:

  • Health Care: #47
  • Education: #45
  • Economy: #48
  • Infrastructure: #50
  • Opportunity: #18
  • Fiscal Stability: #28
  • Crime & Corrections: #23
  • Natural Environment: #36

While a state is much more than the sum of its rankings, it is undeniable that they are useful in figuring out the current condition. And, judging by the numbers, it is not surprising that many people choose to relocate away from West Virginia.

handcuffs, representing why West Virginia is one of the states people are leaving 2021
West Virginia has a significant crime problem.

Why is West Virginia one of the States people are leaving 2021

First and foremost, the single biggest issue that the state has is its high crime rate. To put it into perspective, the crime rate in the US, on average, is around 27 incidents per one thousand people. In West Virginia, that number is higher than 32 in a thousand. While there are safer cities in the state, they are usually quite expensive to live in, and finding a home in the right neighborhood can be very costly. That is the main reason why cross country movers West Virginia have done so much work in recent years. There are simply safer states to live in. But that is not all.

Many of the people that choose to relocate away from the state do so because they are simply not accepted in their new community. Some of the communities are extremely intolerant of newcomers. The neighbors will not throw bricks through the window but will not invite you to social affairs either. Making friends as a newcomer can be really difficult. And that starts to grate after a while.

Lastly, there are no huge cities in the state. The capital, Charleston, is home to “only” 50,000 people. That is a far cry from some of the other modern metropolises that house several million people. This means that you will not have easy access to some of the amenities and facilities that only very large cities can provide.


Moving on, the State of Alaska is another state that experiences a large number of relocations. The main issues people have with the state are a poor economy, a high crime rate, and extreme weather. It is definitely not one of the best states in the US for business, that’s for sure. Let’s check the rankings.

one of the states people are leaving 2021 - Alaska
Alaska is cold. Very cold.

Alaska rankings

Overall, Alaska ranks a bit higher than West Virginia, standing at the #45 spot. That is largely thanks to good health care and extreme fiscal stability. Here are the numbers:

  • Health Care: #22
  • Education: #49
  • Economy: #50
  • Infrastructure: #40
  • Opportunity: #43
  • Fiscal Stability: #1
  • Crime & Corrections: #49
  • Natural Environment: #46

As you can see, the rankings are not very promising. It is interesting, however, that the residents of the state enjoy the best fiscal stability in the country. Despite that, most people get tired of the harsh weather conditions and choose to relocate to another state.

Why is Alaska one of the States people are leaving 2021

There are numerous strong reasons why people choose to relocate away from Alaska. First off, the state deals with multiple earthquakes each year, even some volcanic eruptions! While this is not the most important reason, of course, it all adds up. Next, Alaska is cold, simple as that. There’s not that big of a difference between summer and winter, it’s always cold!

And due to the location of the state, living costs are quite higher than in most other states in the US. For example, you can expect a gallon of milk to cost almost as double as in other states. Transportation costs are also quite high, and the gas prices are not favorable either. That is why hiring one of the cross country movers Alaska has to offer can be more expensive than in other states. But most other movers will account for the gas prices in Alaska, so it might not make much difference.

But we believe that the #1 reason why people relocate from this state is quite simple. No one wants to shovel snow for most of the year. It is a part of life in the state, after all, and it can get really tiresome after a couple of years. Some people even relocate away after a few months due to this reason.

a stack of $20 bills
Everything costs more in Alaska.


While West Virginia and Alaska paint a pretty grim picture, Illinois is slightly different. The rankings are much better, for one. But there are a lot of reasons why people dislike the state and want to create a packing checklist and move away from it. Fiscal stability is at the forefront.

Illinois rankings

The state of Illinois ranks #30 in overall rankings, making it “not that bad” if you look at the position alone. But some factors that are extremely important are low, which makes people want to relocate.

  • Health Care: #23
  • Education: #11
  • Economy: #39
  • Infrastructure: #26
  • Opportunity: #12
  • Fiscal Stability: #50
  • Crime & Corrections: #16
  • Natural Environment: #43

As you can see, the rankings are really not that low. In fact, the state ranks well in several notable categories, aside from one. It is dead last when it comes to fiscal stability. And that is the state’s biggest downfall.

Why is Illinois one of the States people are leaving 2021

But fiscal stability is not the only thing that makes people want to leave it. The taxes that the state collects are, by popular opinion, “too damn high!”. Illinois has the 2nd-highest property tax in the US. The individual tax rate of 4.95% combines with the local taxes of up to 11% to create a sizeable deduction in your effective income. No wonder that most of the cross country moving companies Illinois has to offer have so much work these days. People don’t like high taxes, go figure.

Then there’s the traffic. Living in Illinois is almost like one traffic jam after another. This is especially prevalent in some of the larger cities such as Aurora and Chicago, where you can spend several hours stuck in a line of vehicles. In fact, Chicago is ranked as the 3rd most congested city in the entire US. And don’t even think about parking. It is a veritable nightmare.

Similar to Alaska, Illinois winters are extremely harsh, and people are accustomed to plenty of snow. In the winter, it is quite normal for temperatures to drop below 2°F. And then there are the ice storms, thunderstorms, floods, and tornadoes to contend with. Even though the state is in a good economic state, these reasons are usually enough to drive the people away from it.

a street in Chicago
Chicago might be grandiose, but it has its own issues.


The last state on our list is actually quite good, all things considered. Why then, are the people relocating away from it? It has good weather, the best health care in the country, and has the best natural environment out of all states. In a short sentence: It’s too expensive. You are going to need storage services when living in Hawaii, 99% of the time, as you will not be able to afford a large home. There are other reasons, of course, but this is the most important one.

Hawaii rankings

The State of Hawaii ranks right in the middle of all the other states, at #25. It is a very popular state, after all. However, people still choose to leave it in droves. Perhaps the individual rankings can tell us why.

  • Health Care: #47
  • Education: #45
  • Economy: #48
  • Infrastructure: #50
  • Opportunity: #18
  • Fiscal Stability: #28
  • Crime & Corrections: #23
  • Natural Environment: #36

As you can see, the main “culprit” is the infrastructure. There’s simply not much in the way of it in the state. In some locations, you can’t even get mail delivered to your home. Couple that with the high living costs and the reasons to leave crop up.

Why is Hawaii one of the States people are leaving 2021

Hawaii is the only state where you have to deal with lava flows. Most people have never even seen or experienced such a thing, but it can be quite uncomfortable. They cause droughts and water restrictions throughout the state. This is kind of ironic, as the state receives a lot of rain throughout the year. In some areas, especially on the eastern side, there’s rain all year long. That means that most homeowners need to deal with mold issues on a regular basis. Not to mention dealing with tropical storms and hurricanes.

We mentioned the cost of living before as one of the main reasons why people choose to relocate from Hawaii. Housing costs are the most egregious, as you can expect to pay at least $1,300 in rent for a one-bedroom apartment. But that is not the main issue, there are cities with higher rent.

an erupting volcano
If you’re not living in Hawaii, chances are you never even heard of lava flows.

Everything costs more

What “seals the deal” are the utility bills. The costs for electricity, gasoline, and propane are the highest in the entire country. Needless to say, you can expect hefty prices from interstate movers Hawaii has on offer. And that is not all. Remember how a gallon of milk costs $6 in Alaska? Well, it is $10 in Hawaii! There are ways to go around it, of course, but the fact of the matter is that this state is isolated from the others.

And this isolation comes with several downsides. For example, in some places, there is simply no water infrastructure to speak of. Homeowners usually rely on their own rainwater catchment systems. If you are not living in one of the big cities such as Hilo and Kailua-Kona, you will most likely need to deal with water issues on regular basis.

You may also need to deal with your own trash, unaccepting, suspicious, indifferent locals, and some of the worst traffic jams you can imagine.


The fact of the matter is that people can live everywhere. But when there are better options, most choose to relocate. These four states people are leaving 2021 experience a higher-than-usual number of relocations because they simply do not provide a great living experience. Don’t get us wrong, there are amazing places to live in every state, despite all the rankings and downsides. But there are also better places to live, as well.

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