U-Haul Reveals Top 50 Growth States of 2021

Migration to southern states continues to be magnified by the lingering pandemic, and no state netted more U-Haul® customers during the last year than Texas.

The Lone Star State earned bragging rights as the leading growth state of 2021, narrowly besting Florida for tops honors, according to transactional data compiled for the annual U-Haul Growth Index.

Tennessee ranks third, South Carolina fourth and Arizona fifth among the top growth states.

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

California is 50th and Illinois 49th on the list for the second consecutive year, indicating those states once again witnessed the largest net losses of one-way U-Haul trucks.

Texas reclaims the No. 1 growth state status it held from 2016-18. It ranked second to Florida in 2019 and Tennessee in 2020.

Local U-Haul Analysis

“We see a lot of growth coming from the East and West Coast,” said Matt Merrill, U-Haul Area District Vice President of the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex and West Texas. “A lot of people moving here from California (and) New York. We also see a lot of people coming in from the Chicago markets. I think that’s a lot due to the job growth – a lot of opportunity here. The cost of living here is much lower than those areas. Texas is open for business.”

Indiana, Colorado, Maine, Idaho and New Mexico round out the top 10 growth states of 2021 as self-movers target the Southeast, Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions as their destinations of choice.

Select Northeast markets showed year-over-year migration recoveries as Maine rose 21 spots, Vermont 14 spots and Connecticut 25 spots in the U-Haul Growth Index. Yet three of the six states with the largest net losses were also in the Northeast: New York (45), Massachusetts (47) and Pennsylvania (48).

California remained the top state for out-migration, but its net loss of U-Haul trucks wasn’t as severe as in 2020. That can be partially attributed to the fact that U-Haul simply ran out of inventory to meet customer demand for outbound equipment.

Growth Areas in Texas, Florida

Texas’s growth is statewide, although some of its biggest gains occurred in the suburbs around the DFW Metroplex. Florida’s gains are equally widespread, with considerable growth south of Orlando and along both coastlines.

Overall moving traffic across Texas increased in 2021, as it did in most states. Arrivals of one-way U-Haul trucks jumped 19% while departures rose 18% over 2020. Arrivals made up 50.2% of all one-way U-Haul traffic last year in Texas.

“The Texas economy is growing fast,” stated Kristina Ramos, U-Haul Company of South Austin president. “With a strong job market and low cost of living, it’s a no brainer. Texas doesn’t have an income tax, so families get more for their money.”

2021 U-Haul Growth States

1.TEXAS (2)
2.FLORIDA (3)
3.TENNESSEE (1)
4.SOUTH CAROLINA (15)
5.ARIZONA (5)
6.INDIANA (12)
7.COLORADO (6)
8.MAINE (29)
9.IDAHO (30)
10.NEW MEXICO (39)
11.SOUTH DAKOTA (25)
12.VERMONT (26)
13.WISCONSIN (13)
14.OREGON (45)
15.WASHINGTON (36)
16.ALASKA (34)
17.MINNESOTA (20)
18.CONNECTICUT (43)
19.NORTH CAROLINA (9)
20.NEBRASKA (32)
21.WYOMING (33)
22.MONTANA (19)
23.GEORGIA (10)
24.OHIO (4)
25.NEW HAMPSHIRE (23)
26.WEST VIRGINIA (16)
27.IOWA (24)
28.UTAH (17)
29.NEVADA (8)
30.DELAWARE (27)
31.VIRGINIA (28)
32.RHODE ISLAND (35)
33.NORTH DAKOTA (37)
34.MARYLAND (46)
35.WASHINGTON, D.C. (38)*
36.NEW JERSEY (48)
37.MISSISSIPPI (31)
38.KENTUCKY (18)
39.MISSOURI (7)
40.KANSAS (21)
41.ARKANSAS (11)
42.MICHIGAN (40)
43.LOUISIANA (44)
44.OKLAHOMA (14)
45.NEW YORK (42)
46.ALABAMA (22)
47.MASSACHUSETTS (47)
48.PENNSYLVANIA (41)
49.ILLINOIS (49)
50.CALIFORNIA (50)

2020 growth rankings in parentheses

* Washington, D.C. is its own U-Haul market and is listed among growth states for migration trends purposes. Hawaii is excluded since state-to-state U-Haul truck moves do not occur.

U-Haul is the authority on migration trends thanks to its expansive network that blankets all 10 provinces and 50 states. The geographical coverage from more than 23,000 U-Haul truck- and trailer-sharing locations provides a comprehensive overview of where people are moving like no one else in the industry. Find U-Haul stores and neighborhood dealers at uhaul.com/locations.

Independent small business owners interested in joining the U-Haul Dealer Network at no cost and earning commissions from rental transactions at their locations can visit uhaul.com/dealer to learn more and submit an information form.

Increased demand for Moving Help® through movinghelp.com has mirrored increased demand for one-way U-Haul equipment during the pandemic. Moving Help has been the No. 1 choice of customers seeking labor services for loading and unloading during their moves since 2002, offering a network of 6,700 local and independent Moving Help Service Providers across all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. With more than 5 million jobs completed and 2.3 million customer reviews, customers have access to the largest network of moving labor services in North America through Moving Help.

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