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People Are Fleeing Indiana. Here’s Where They’re Plotting to Move to.

A new Atlas Van Lines survey lists Indiana as one of the top states in the country experiencing population declines. According to the analysis, which is based on internal data from the company about interstate, cross-border, and international moves, 59% of all household moves in Indiana in 2023 were outbound, meaning that more individuals left the state than entered. Indiana now ranks sixth in terms of unpopularity among states, trailing only Illinois, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Minnesota.

Why are people leaving Indiana?

People’s decisions to move are influenced by a wide range of factors, including employment prospects, living expenses, standard of living, climate, and individual preferences. Among the causes of the exodus from Indiana are:

Absence of innovation and employment growth: Manufacturing, agriculture, and transportation—sector heavyweights affected by automation, global competition, and the pandemic—are the main pillars of Indiana’s economy. The state also does poorly in terms of entrepreneurship, innovation, and education—three important factors that promote economic diversification and growth. Indiana is ranked 40th in the US for the economy, 38th for the business environment, and 35th for education, according to U.S. News & World Report.

High taxes and bad governance: Indiana has some of the highest sales taxes, second-highest gas taxes, and third-highest property taxes in the region. Residents and businesses are heavily burdened by these levies, particularly when the state does not deliver sufficient infrastructure or public services in exchange.

A chronic financial issue also affects Indiana, which has a high debt load and over $50 billion in unfunded pension commitments. Moody’s and S&P have downgraded the state to the second-lowest credit rating out of all the states, which increases the cost of borrowing money and debt servicing. In addition, the state is embroiled in a corruption case involving Curtis Hill, the former AG, who was charged with misusing public funds and engaging in sexual misconduct.

Crime and violence: With over 400 homicides and 2,000 shootings in 2023, Indiana has arguably of the highest rates of crime in the country. Due to its low conviction rate and its moderate sentencing policies for violent offenders, the state is also known for being soft on crime. The state’s lack of accountability and public safety has left many citizens feeling afraid and outraged. In terms of crime and prisons, Indiana comes in at number 45 in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Where are people moving to?

According to an Atlas Van Lines survey, the most popular places for residents to relocate after leaving Indiana are:

Maine: Sixty-four percent of all moves in 2023 were inbound, making Maine the most popular state for incoming moves. Maine has a lot of natural resources, wildlife, and outdoor activities in a beautiful and tranquil setting. In addition, the state offers a high standard of living, a low cost of living, and a kind and inviting culture. In addition, Maine is renowned for its progressive and cutting-edge laws, which include renewable energy targets, universal broadband access, and ranked-choice voting.

North Carolina: With 64% of all moves in 2023 being inbound, North Carolina is the second most popular state for inbound moves. The economy of North Carolina is vibrant and varied, with robust industries like biotechnology, banking, education, and technology. In addition, the state offers a pleasant, sunny climate, a low cost of living, and a high quality of life. Some of the top scientific and academic institutions in the country, including Duke, UNC, and NC State, are located in North Carolina.

New Hampshire: With 60% of all moves in 2023 being inbound, New Hampshire is the third most popular state for inbound moves. With easy access to both the coast and the mountains, New Hampshire provides a harmonious blend of urban and country living. In addition, the state offers a strong feeling of community, a high standard of living, and a low tax burden. With the nation’s largest state legislature and the site of the first presidential primary, New Hampshire is renowned for its political and civic involvement.


Because more individuals are moving out of Indiana than into it, the state is experiencing a severe demographic decrease. This tendency is mostly caused by a lack of innovation and job growth, excessive taxes, bad government, and increased crime and violence. Due to the fact that fewer people and businesses equate to lower income and growth, more financial and social issues result, further alienating people, and so on, these variables have produced a negative feedback cycle. The state will keep losing its citizens and appeal unless it can break this cycle and deal with its problems.

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