By One Measure, Texas Tops Migration

There are many ways to measure migration trends; the U.S. Census Bureau is usually a good start, but its data are usually a few years behind and not a lot of fun. For U-Haul, Phoenix, a faster–and more fun measure–is truck rentals.

The company’s annual Growth State in America report said Texas and Florida topped in-migration states for the third straight year, based on the number of its trucks pulling into the state, versus the volume leaving. . South Carolina inched up one spot to No. 3, while fast-risers Utah and Idaho rounded out the top five states for growth.

Illinois was 50th on the list for the third time in four years, outpacing No. 48 California and No. 49 Michigan for net departures among out-migration states.

U-Haul said 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. The company noted while migration trends do not correlate directly to population or economic growth, it is an effective gauge of how well states and cities are attracting and maintaining residents.

“North Texas is truly bursting at the seams,” said Kevin Flanagan, U-Haul Company of Northwest Dallas president. “McKinney, Frisco and the entire Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex has been growing substantially in recent years. Texas is gaining more residents than any other state.”

The report said Texas arrivals of one-way U-Haul trucks rose by 5 percent compared to the state’s 2017 numbers, while arrivals accounted for 50.2 percent of all one-way U-Haul traffic in Texas to keep it the top state. Communities in and around the Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin-Round Rock metropolitan areas continued to see some of the largest influxes of U-Haul traffic in Texas.

“Since Houston is booming, surrounding cities are seeing growth as well,” noted Robert Abidin, U-Haul Company of Northeast Houston president. “Spring is home to the new ExxonMobil campus, which is bringing thousands of jobs to the area. The oil and gas industry brings people from all over the world to Texas.”