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Many U.S. residents are apparently considering a move to Nevada to be, well, a nice move.

A survey by national moving company United Van Lines found that the Silver State is the second most popular destination in the Western United States for folks moving to a new area.

Only Oregon was a more popular destination for movers in the West, according to the 2015 National Movers Study, which compared inbound and outbound moves for every state. Nevada’s inbound rate of 57 percent also placed it seventh overall among all states in the country, with Oregon’s 69 percent also getting the top ranking nationwide as well.

The ranking marks a continued turnaround for Nevada, which was one of the states hit hardest by job loss and real estate woes in the last recession. It is the fifth consecutive year that Nevada has made the survey’s high inbound list for people moving into a new state.

“Nevada once again remained on the top 10 list of most popular moving destinations,” said Melissa Sullivan, spokeswoman for United Van Lines. “The largest reason provided for moving to Nevada in 2015 was for a new job or job transfer, followed by retirement.”

The numbers also continue a decades-long trend of migration out of the Midwest and Northeast, said Michael Stoll, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles and consultant for United Van Lines. New Jersey led the list of states with the highest rate of people moving out at 67 percent, followed by New York, Illinois, Connecticut and Ohio.

“In the last 30 to 40 years, we’ve seen a continuous trend of outmigration from the Midwest and Northeast for various reasons, including the shift in manufacturing,” Stoll said. “For Nevada, you’re also seeing a lot of growth with the arrival of (companies such as) Tesla while retirees are also attracted to the climate and more affordable housing.”

Las Vegas was the top moving destination last year in Nevada with an inbound rate of 58.9 percent, followed by Reno with a rate of 56.8 percent. Las Vegas also posted an outbound rate of 41.1 percent, while Reno had an outbound rate of 43.2 percent.

Retirement is an especially big factor for in-migration in Nevada. About 31 percent of people who moved to the state cited retirement as the reason, compared to the national rate of 15 percent. Nevada is attractive to Baby Boomers who value a more active lifestyle as well as seniors who put a premium on cost, particularly those from nearby California, Stolle said.

“Today’s retirees are more reliant on Social Security than ever before so having an affordable place to live is important,” Stolle said.

With Nevada’s economy seeing continued improvement since the recession, Stolle expects the state to see even more accelerated growth moving forward. Although the recession knocked out Nevada from its perch as the fastest growing state in the nation, U.S. Census data released this month placed the state fourth nationwide in population growth, only behind North Dakota, Colorado and the District of Columbia. The prospects for growth are already fueling debate in the area about such issues as water availability, housing supply and adequate infrastructure to support an influx of new residents.

“I see growth trends accelerating in Nevada,” Stolle said. “It looks like economic performance will be improving in the next two to three years and, in the absence of any substantial financial market crash that has severe consequences on things like housing markets, I don’t see those trends changing at all.”
By the numbers

Top-10 inbound states of 2015 (people moving in)

1. Oregon
2. South Carolina
3. Vermont
4. Idaho
5. North Carolina
6. Florida
7. Nevada
8. District of Columbia
9. Texas
10. Washington

Top 10 outbound states for 2015 (people moving out)

1. New Jersey
2. New York
3. Illinois
4.Connecticut
5. Ohio
6. Kansas
7. Massachusetts
8. West Virginia
9. Mississippi
10. Maryland

Jason Hidalgo