2020 Migration Trends: TENNESSEE is the U-Haul No. 1 Growth State

Tennessee is the new No. 1 growth state in America, according to U-Haul® data analyzing migration patterns from 2020.

The Volunteer State edges Texas, the leading growth state from 2016-18, and Florida, the 2019 leading growth state, to top the U-Haul chart.

Growth states are calculated by the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a state versus leaving that state during a calendar year. Migration trends data is compiled from more than 2 million one-way U-Haul truck-sharing transactions that occur annually.

Ohio, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina and Georgia round out the top 10 growth states, creating a 2020 stronghold for the Southeast and Southwest regions in attracting do-it-yourself movers.

California slides one position to 50th as the state with the steepest out-migration – or the largest net loss of U-Haul trucks crossing its border. New York ranks 42nd. Illinois is 49th.

Tennessee Growth Data

People coming to Tennessee in one-way U-Haul trucks increased 12% during the past year, while departures rose only 9% from 2019. Arrivals accounted for more than 50.6% of all one-way U-Haul traffic in Tennessee during 2020 to make it the No. 1 state for netting DIY movers.

Tennessee’s leading growth cities include Knoxville, the Tri-Cities, Cookeville, Clarksville, Cleveland, Murfreesboro and Maryville. Other notable net-gain cities are Oak Ridge, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Columbia, Brentwood, La Vergne, Spring Hill, Franklin and Chattanooga.

While U-Haul migration trends do not correlate directly to population or economic growth, the Company’s growth data is an effective gauge of how well cities are attracting and maintaining residents.

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 22,000 U-Haul truck- and trailer-sharing locations provides a comprehensive overview of where people are moving like no one else in the industry. Find local U-Haul stores and neighborhood dealers at uhaul.com/locations.

As an essential service provider, U-Haul has remained open throughout the COVID-19 outbreak while offering contactless programs and enhanced cleaning protocols, including added steps for sanitizing equipment between customer transactions. U-Haul products are used daily by First Responders; delivery companies bringing needed supplies to people’s homes; small businesses trying to remain afloat; college students; and countless other dependent groups, in addition to the household mover. Visit uhaul.com/announcement for more information on how U-Haul keeps its customers and Team Members safe.

What They’re Saying About Tennessee

“I’m seeing a lot of people from California move here because they’re attracted to our lifestyle. Tennessee has no income tax and is very business-friendly. There are plenty of jobs. People and companies are taking note. Places like Nashville, Murfreesboro and Clarksville are attracting tons of new residents. Nashville is ever-growing, and even the era of COVID-19 isn’t slowing that. We were seeing movement before the virus hit, but I think the situation has pushed a lot more people away from the West Coast to our state.” — Jeff Porter, U-Haul Company of Nashville president

“The best thing about Tennessee is the southern hospitality. People are decent to one another. I believe the draw to Tennessee is the rural atmosphere. The government is still not so oppressive on zoning and regulation, so people are able to build, and cities are friendly to business. Tourism is a big draw in this region, mostly for the Great Smoky Mountains. There’s plenty to do outdoors. U-Haul is growing right alongside the state. We just added adaptive reuse conversions of closed Kmart® stores for new facilities in Kingsport and Bristol, and are currently building a ground-up store in Knoxville to meet customer demand for our products and services.” — Clay McQuade, U-Haul Company of Knoxville president

What's New