(The Center Square) – More U-Haul customers booked one-way rental trucks to Texas than any other state in 2021, supporting an ongoing trend that Texas remains the destination of choice for Americans relocating nationwide.
Overall moving traffic across Texas increased in 2021. Arrivals comprised 50.2% of all one-way U-Haul traffic last year in Texas, the U-Haul’s analysis of national migration trends found.
According to transactional data compiled for the national moving company’s annual Growth Index, Texas narrowly edged out Florida last year as the primary one-way destination for self-movers in 2021. Behind Florida, Tennessee ranked third, South Carolina fourth, and Arizona fifth.
Indiana, Colorado, Maine, Idaho and New Mexico rounded out the top 10 moving destination states of 2021, with customers renting U-Haul trucks one-way, primarily heading to the Southeast, Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions.
The most one-way U-Haul customers left California last year, followed by residents leaving Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Alabama, the report found.
“We see a lot of growth coming from the East and West Coast,” Matt Merrill, U-Haul Area District Vice President of the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex and West Texas, said. “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.”
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, U-Haul reports. Its migration trends data is compiled from over two million one-way U-Haul truck customer transactions from more than 23,000 U-Haul truck- and trailer-sharing locations.
Texas previously held U-Haul’s top moving destination spot in 2016, 2017 and 2018. It ranked second to Florida in 2019 and second to Tennessee in 2020.
Many people are moving to Texas because its “economy is growing fast,” Kristina Ramos, U-Haul Company of South Austin president, said. “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.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has boasted of Texas leading the U.S. in population growth, also notes that Texas is leading the U.S. in business growth. Highlighting 2020 Census data, he said, “Texas leads America in population growth. We are also number one in business relocations. It’s simple – people are choosing the Lone Star State because we believe in less government and more freedom.”
California company headquarter exits more than doubled in 2021, and more businesses relocated from California to Texas than any other state by a ratio of 4 to 1, a Stanford University study found last year. In the time frame analyzed, researchers found that 265 California companies left, of which Texas received 114 of them, followed by Tennessee receiving the second-most of 89.
California remained the top state for out-migration in 2021 although its net loss of U-Haul trucks wasn’t as severe as it was in 2020 when California recorded its first population loss in recorded history. But out-migration appearing to be less severe than it was in 2020, U-Haul notes, “can be partially attributed to the fact that U-Haul simply ran out of inventory to meet customer demand for outbound equipment,” – meaning, customers rented trucks from other companies because there weren’t enough U-Haul trucks to meet the demand for one-way self-movers out of California.
While Texas’ population grew statewide last year, it grew the most in the suburbs around the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex region, following a trend over the past decade. The region’s population grew so much since the last census count that it gained two congressional seats in 2020.
As of the 2020 Census, Texas had a population of 29,145,505, with an apportioned population of 29,183,290.
Texas is the second-largest state by population behind California, and the second-largest state by land area behind Alaska.