South Carolina remains the second most popular destination for state-to-state moves, according to a new study from United Van Lines.
The national moving company analyzed its customers' moving data for its annual National Movers Study. Oregon was the most popular destination for the third consecutive year, but South Carolina was close behind. United Van Lines handled 4,069 moves to and from the Palmetto State, and 2,538 of them -- 62.4 percent -- were incoming moves. Oregon had an incoming move rate of 69.0 percent.
The growth of industry in South Carolina, and the growth of manufacturing in particular, can be cited as an underlying reason for the state's continued growth, according to Clemson University economics professor Scott Baier.
The state's status as a "right to work" state, meaning employees cannot be required to join a labor union, as well as attractive tax rates make companies more likely to relocate to South Carolina than other states, Baier said. When large companies like Michelin and Volvo establish operations in South Carolina, it also becomes more attractive for smaller companies that supply the larger ones to move as well.
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"It has become beneficial for companies to move here," Baier said.
With those company relocations and expansions come new jobs, attracting people from other states, including the Northeast and Midwest, both of which saw high rates of departure, according to United Van Lines.
The increase in job location flexibility that has come with easier telecommuting options has also increased people's ability to choose where they give with less regard for where their job is located, Baier said.
"You dont need to come into a brick and mortar office every day to be employed," Baier said. "The Internet has allowed some decoupliong of where work is done."
Baier also cited more traditional reasons for South Carolina's continued growth: a warmer climate, lower income taxes and lower housing prices. Between 2010 and 2014, South Carolina's population grew by 4.5 percent, outpacing the national population growth rate of 3.3 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
New Jersey and New York, which saw the highest rates of the departure, have also been ranked the states with the highest tax burden in a Forbes analysis. South Carolina had the ninth lowest tax burden in that analysis. Their population growth was also lower than South Carolina's, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. New York's population grew by 1.9 percent and New Jersey's by 1.7 percent.
"It's not the cheapest in the country, but it's more affordable than other places," Baier said. "Taxes matter. I think people move to avoid taxes."