Michigan led the nation in percentage of interstate travelers headed outbound in the first half of 2010, according to United Van Lines statistics from January through June.

Michigan had 61.6 percent of the movers leaving the state while Missouri was second at 61.0 percent. No other state had 60 percent exit traffic.

Washington, D.C. had the highest inbound traffic at 65.1 percent followed by North Carolina at 58.8 percent.

"Unfortunately, mid-year data from United Van Lines indicates that Michigan is still a leader in outbound migration," said Michael LaFaive,  director of the Mackinac Center's Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative. "Migration is perhaps the most important single metric for measuring quality of life issues. What is all the more remarkable is that our people are leaving at this rate despite a national recession. Opportunities have declined in other states too but Michigan is still relatively unattractive."

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"For the bleeding to stop, policies need to change and dramatically so. Our lawmakers chase too many away with schizophrenic tax policies, toxic regulations and a hostile labor climate."

In 2006, the LaFaive and econometrician Michael Hicks did a statistical analysis of United Van Lines data and found it to be similar to actual Census data making it a leading migration indicator.