RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - There are a lot of different ways to get a sense for how the economy is doing. One way is to look at how many people are moving into your community and how many people are moving out as well.
Two moving companies, Atlas Van Lines and United Van Lines both released migration numbers this week. The good news is more people came to Virginia than left last year. The bad news is the Metro Richmond area slowly lost residents.
Jim Hinterlong is one of Virginia's newest residents moving to Bon Air six months ago from Florida.
"We've lived in Illinois, lived in North Carolina for a while," he said. "(We lived in) St. Louis for a number of years and then back up here to Virginia."
Jim is part of a larger trend of people moving to the Commonwealth from other states. Recent studies by moving companies like United Van Lines show more people are moving to Virginia than moving away. But when you break down the numbers, Richmond saw slightly more people leave than arrive.
Even though these moving companies say there are more people moving out of Richmond, local realtors say the vast majority of the homes sold last year were to people from out of state. Realtors say people are attracted to Richmond.
"Richmond is an easy place to sell to people from out of the area," said Faith Greenwood of Long & Foster Realtors. "We typically have a good seasonal lifestyle here, it's a large enough city to offer a lot of lifestyle opportunities and choices."
Some of the area's newest residents agree.
"This is a great place for family, for kids, great cultural scene, great restaurants," Hinterlong said. "With the presence of several wonderful universities here, it's a wonderful place to raise a family and have a life and career."
Washington DC had the highest percentage of people moving in while Oregon and North Carolina also were high on the list. On the flip side, New Jersey and Michigan had the highest percentage of people leaving.