Nevada’s population boom continued in 2017, ranking the state as the fourth-most moved-to state last year, according to a survey data from moving services company United Van Lines.
Of the United Van Lines customers who moved in and out of Nevada, 61 percent made Nevada home while 39 percent moved out, according to the moving company.
There are two major groups of people who move to Nevada: those moving for jobs and those moving to retire.
An annual report by United Van Lines suggests a steady flow of people moving into Las Vegas to retire, and a decrease in the amount of people moving to Las Vegas for new jobs or company transfers.
But the numbers are deceiving, said Michael Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The decrease in the number of United Van Lines users citing employment as the reason for their move translates to an increase in people moving into Nevada under 35, he said.
People in that age group are generally in the early parts of their careers and would not use a professional moving service because of its cost, he said.
“Most of the people using services like United Van Lines are going to be on the upper end of income distribution, like professionals or older people who have nest eggs,” Stoll said.
That there were still some “moderate income young people who would still use the professional van service” indicates the significant volume of people under 35 who are moving to Nevada in general, Stoll said.
The median age of adults in Southern Nevada has steadily decreased since 2000, when the median age was just over 40. In 2016, the median age was just over 36, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Las Vegas-based Applied Analysis.
Driver’s license surrender data from 2016 shows the majority of people under 35 are moving into Nevada from California, followed by Florida, Texas, Arizona and Washington.
Driver’s license surrender data data from 2017 is not yet available.
The exodus of young people from California is related to California’s high housing costs, Stoll said.
“Jobs are available in places these high housing cost areas, like California and New York, but housing costs eat up most of that income,” he said. “You could find an equivalent job that maybe pays less in Nevada, but money toward housing will go much further.”
Migration into Nevada has contributed to Southern Nevada’s apartment market heating up in recent years with additional construction, increased rents, shrunken vacancies and landlords’ rising purchase prices.
“In the short run, if housing demand keeps increasing in Nevada in part because of greater migration, then builders will respond, and it will equalize,” Stoll said.
Rents increased 3.7 percent in 2017 compared with 2016, with an average effective rent of $964 in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to research firm Reis Inc.