By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — Nearly twice as many people moved out of Illinois last year as those who moved in, according to the latest migration study from moving company United Van Lines, ranking the Land of Lincoln as No. 3 among “Most Moved From States” in 2020.

Approximately 66% of United Van Lines’ moves in Illinois last year were outbound, with only 34% inbound, according to their annual study.

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New Jersey topped the list, with 70% of moves outbound, followed by New York, with 67% outbound.

Illinois’ ranking actually improved slightly from 2019, when the state came in at No. 2 among “Most Moved From States.” Illinois has topped that list as recently as 2017.

Chicago, Joliet, and Lake County also ranked among the top 25 metropolitan areas nationwide for outbound migration. Chicago came in at No. 6, with 69% of moves outbound; Lake County was No. 10 with 68% of moves outbound; and Joliet was No. 12, with 67% of moves outbound.

In Illinois, the most common reasons people moved out in 2020 included a new job, retirement, and to be closer to family.

Most of the people moving out of Illinois were 55 or older, and had an income of $100,000 or more, according to the study.

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The COVID-19 pandemic also factored into moving decisions nationwide.

“We’re seeing that the COVID-19 pandemic has without a doubt accelerated broader moving trends, including retirement driving top inbound regions as the Baby Boomer generation continues to reach that next phase of life,” said Michael A. Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The most popular states where Illinois residents moved to in 2020 included Florida, Texas, California, Arizona, Washington, and North Carolina.

United Van Lines said most other Midwestern states are “balanced” states, meaning they typically have a more equal number of people moving in and out.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff