Migration Trends: Houston is No. 1 U-Haul Destination City

May 25, 2018

Houston is the No. 1 U.S. Destination City according to the latest U-Haul migration trends report, continuing its run atop the list for the ninth consecutive year.

Houston saw a 5 percent year-over-year increase in one-way U-Haul truck arrivals in 2017 to maintain its status as the busiest locale for incoming traffic among do-it-yourself movers.

“We are an international city with a strong housing market,” stated Matt Merrill, U-Haul Company of West Houston president. “The cost of living remains relatively inexpensive. The average paycheck goes further in Houston. Many companies are relocating here and bringing jobs to our communities. With U-Haul helping move people to the next chapter of their lives, I’m not surprised Houston is the top destination city again.”

U-Haul has 33 Company-owned stores and 144 independent neighborhood dealerships, operated by small-business owners, currently serving self-movers in the Houston city limits. Find U-Haul truck and trailer sharing locations in Houston – and in any U.S. or Canadian city – at uhaul.com/locations.

Moving Season

U-Haul International, headquartered in Phoenix, counts down its top 10 U.S. Destination Cities each year as a prelude to Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start to summer moving season. About 45 percent of moves each year occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

Following Houston in the rankings are: 2. Chicago; 3. Orlando; 4. Brooklyn; 5. San Antonio; 6. Las Vegas; 7. Austin; 8. Philadelphia; 9. Charlotte; and 10. Columbus. See the complete top 50 Destination Cities below.

Rankings are based on the total number of arriving one-way U-Haul trucks into a city in the past calendar year. Destination Cities reflect the volume and regularity of do-it-yourself movers coming into a community. They do not account for departing one-way U-Haul trucks, and thus do not necessarily signify growth like U-Haul Growth Cities and Growth States rankings.

U-Haul released its top 25 U.S. Growth Cities and its complete Growth States rankings for 2017 in January. Texas topped the Growth States report despite enduring the wrath of Hurricane Harvey last year, with much of the misfortune befalling Houston residents.

Houston Strong

“If you drove through today, you wouldn’t know Houston got destroyed by a hurricane,” Merrill said. “There are a lot of people still rebuilding, but much of the damage is behind us. There are people everywhere lending a hand to help their neighbor.”

Robert Abidin, U-Haul Company of Northeast Houston president, added: “Other than New York City, Houston is the most diverse city of its size in the U.S. The oil industry is growing again. We have amazing colleges. The square footage of the city is immense. You can be in the heart of the city, or you can choose to be in the suburbs to raise your family and be away from the hustle and bustle. Houston has something for everyone.”

Atlanta, the last city other than Houston to top the U-Haul Destination Cities list (based on one-way moves in 2008), lands at No. 20. Pittsburgh is the biggest mover among this year’s top 50, going from unranked to No. 37. Columbia, S.C., climbs 11 positions to No. 35. California boasts a chart-leading seven cities among the top 50 despite having none in the top 10. Texas has six cities in the rankings, including three of the top seven.

U-Haul is the authority on migration trends thanks to its expansive network that blankets all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. The geographical coverage from more than 21,000 U-Haul locations provides a comprehensive overview of where people are moving like no one else in the industry. Migration trends data is compiled from more than 1.7 million one-way U-Haul truck rental transactions that occur annually.

U-Haul Top 50 Destination Cities

  1. HOUSTON, Texas
  2. CHICAGO, Ill.
  3. ORLANDO, Fla.
  5. SAN ANTONIO, Texas
  6. LAS VEGAS, Nevada
  7. AUSTIN, Texas
  10. COLUMBUS, Ohio
  11. TAMPA, Fla.
  12. SAN DIEGO, Calif.
  13. PHOENIX, Ariz.
  15. SACRAMENTO, Calif.
  16. DALLAS, Texas
  18. LOS ANGELES, Calif.
  19. TUCSON, Ariz.
  20. ATLANTA, Ga.
  21. MIAMI, Fla.
  22. SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.
  23. BRONX, N.Y.
  25. FORT WORTH, Texas
  26. PORTLAND, Ore.
  27. NASHVILLE, Tenn.
  29. CINCINNATI, Ohio
  30. BALTIMORE, Md.
  31. PLANO, Texas
  32. RALEIGH, N.C.
  33. DENVER, Colo.
  34. KNOXVILLE, Tenn.
  35. COLUMBIA, S.C.
  36. OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.
  39. RENO, Nevada
  40. SEATTLE, Wash.
  41. RICHMOND, Va.
  42. SAN JOSE, Calif.
  43. BAKERSFIELD, Calif.
  44. DURHAM, N.C.
  45. MADISON, Wis.
  48. FRESNO, Calif.
  49. MEMPHIS, Tenn.
  50. TULSA, Okla.

* Rankings based on total one-way U-Haul truck arrivals in 2017. For the purpose of migration trends lists, New York City boroughs are listed as their own cities.

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