New data from movers shows Texas population boom

A line of U-Haul parked vans. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

On Monday, U-Haul released its annual Growth Index, which showed that migration to southern states continues to be expedited by the pandemic, as Texas saw the largest increase of U-Haul customers in 2021.

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 was 50th on the list and Illinois was 49th for the second consecutive year, indicating the largest losses of one-way U-Haul trucks.

Texas was number one in growth from 2016-2018 and was second in both 2019 and 2020.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

The Texas population growth is statewide, although some of its biggest gains occurred in the suburbs around the DFW Metroplex. 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.”

Also released Monday was United Van Lines’ 45th Annual National Movers Study, an annual study that tracks migration patterns. The study indicated Americans were moving to lower-density areas to be closer to their families throughout the last year.

Vermont was the state with the highest percentage of inbound migration while New Jersey was top in outbound moving, seeing 71% of movers move out of state, holding the top spot for outbound population each of the past four years.

Illinois saw 67% of movers move out of the state, while New York saw 63%, Connecticut 60% and California 59%, which have all regularly appeared on the top outbound list. 

Texas saw 54.4% of movers moving into the state, which wasn’t large enough to make the list of top 10 inbound states but still a net increase.

This year’s study results indicated 31.8% of Americans who moved did so in order to be closer to family, a new trend emerging from the pandemic as priorities and lifestyle choices shift. An additional 32.5% of Americans moved for a new job or job transfer, a decrease from 2015 when more than 60% of Americans cited a job or transfer as the reason for moving.

“This new data is indicative of COVID-19’s impact on domestic migration patterns, with 2021 bringing an acceleration of moves to smaller, midsized towns and cities,” Michael A. Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a statement. “We’re seeing this not only occur because of Americans’ desire to leave high-density areas due to risk of infection, but also due to the transformation of how we’re able to work, with more flexibility to work remote.”

Of the top 10 inbound states, six, including Vermont, South Dakota, West Virginia, Alabama, Oregon and Idaho, were among the 20 least densely populated states in America and Tennessee and South Carolina, also in the top 10, were among the top 25 least densely populated.

Among the top 10 outbound states for 2021, nine were considered densely populated.

Written by Shepard Price

Categories: Community

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