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Washington Tops List of Most Popular Cities to Move to and to Move From

Washington was the most popular place for people to move to during the summer, according to a moving company. It was also the most popular place to leave.

Photograph via Shutterstock.

United Van Lines, the moving company, says that summer is the peak season for its industry, with 35 percent of all changes of address taking place between May 1 and August 31. With summer drawing to a close, United recently compiled the most popular metropolitan areas that people moved into, and which ones produced the most expats.

Interestingly, Washington topped the lists for both inbound and outbound moves. But according to United’s statistics, the number of people leaving outpaced those moving in. Overall, the Washington metro area saw 4.7 percent more people moving out than in, according to United.
Trailing Washington on the list of places people moved to this summer were Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, and Seattle. Several cities in California as well as Portland, Oregon also made the top 15.
But the rankings released by United Van Lines are just a four-month snapshot of moving patterns, and a rather skewed one at that. Much of United’s analysis was done through studying 45,000 household moves the company managed. And even though this survey suggests Washington is losing more people than it is gaining, DC and the surrounding area continue to grow at a decent clip. The District itself continues to gain about 1,100 new residents per month, city officials boast. The city’s population was estimated at 632,000 in July 2012.
Meanwhile, United Van Line’s more thorough rankings recapping an entire year’s worth of moving data are still a few months away. Washington led the most recent edition for the fifth year in a row.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.