Florida welcomed more than sunshine and tourists in 2019. The state also had the largest number of U-Haul moving trucks entering its borders versus exiting them, establishing a new top growth state for the first time in four years.
Florida, which ranked second to Texas from 2016-18, topped the Lone Star State for growth this past year, according to U-Haul data analyzing U.S. migration trends for 2019.
Kissimmee, Ocala, West Palm Beach, Port Saint Lucie and the Bradenton-Sarasota corridor lead Florida’s gains. Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale, Pensacola, Miami and St. Petersburg are among the other notable cities to see a net increase.
Texas fell to second place, while North Carolina, South Carolina and Washington rounded out the top five growth states for 2019.
California ranked 49th and Illinois was 50th for the fourth time in five years, pacing the out-migration states with the largest net losses of U-Haul trucks crossing their borders.
“Florida has been showing signs of growth for a decade,” said Miguel Caminos, U-Haul Company of Orlando president. “Central Florida is really booming. I can’t think of any major suburb where there aren’t home developments or new shopping centers being built.”
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.
Although 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 and states are attracting and maintaining residents.
“There’s an expectation of comfort for people moving here. They know there are jobs. Plus, there are tons of attractions, and our state is family-friendly. The weather is perfect, and no matter where you live, you’re less than an hour from the beach.”
Florida arrivals of one-way U-Haul trucks increased one percent while departures were down one percent compared to the state’s 2018 numbers. Arrivals accounted for 50.6 percent of all one-way U-Haul traffic in the state.
Alabama was the biggest year-over-year climber in the rankings, surging 36 spots to No. 6. Maryland took the largest tumble, backsliding 39 spots to No. 45. Utah and Vermont, both top-10 growth states in 2018, maintained their attractive status in 2019.
Visit myuhaulstory.com for press releases on each of the top 10 growth states, as well as the announcements of the top 25 U.S. Growth Cities (Jan. 7) and top 25 Canadian Growth Cities (Jan. 8).
“I’m not surprised Florida is the No. 1 growth state, even after the hurricanes (in 2019),” added Cal Conner, U-Haul Company of Eastern Florida president. “We’re Floridians – we don’t leave. Our communities stick together. We banded together and U-Haul gave free self-storage to affected residents. Our neighbors are our family.”
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.