Florida Takes the Lead as Most Popular Migration State, U-haul Says

In 2019, Florida was the number one destination state—that is for those who move in by U-Haul vehicle. The Sunshine state outperformed Texas, which was pushed into second place.

Each year, truck sharing company U-Haul publishes its interstate migration statistics based on the number of one-way DIY rides entering and leaving each state and eight Canadian provinces between its 22,000-plus locations (Hawaii excluded for obvious reasons).

“Florida has been showing signs of growth for a decade,” said Miguel Caminos, U-Haul Company of Orlando president, according to the report. “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.

“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.”

The top-five growth states according to U-Haul are:

  1. Florida (2 in 2018)
  2. Texas (1 in 2018)
  3. North Carolina (24 in 2018)
  4. South Carolina (3 in 2018)
  5. Washington (29 in 2018)

“I’m not surprised Florida is the No. 1 growth state, even after the hurricanes (in 2019),” said Cal Conner, U-Haul Company of Eastern Florida president in a statement. “We’re Floridians—we don’t leave.

“Our communities stick together,” he said of the recovery efforts after Hurricane Dorian. “We banded together and U-Haul gave free self-storage to affected residents. Our neighbors are our family.”

The top-five most popular destination states according to Census data released in December showed a similar trend. According to the data, the state Florida is growing by 640 people a day on average over the past year. The state’s population now stands at 21.48 million as of July 1, a nearly 1.1 percent increase from a year earlier.

The five least popular states according to Census data were Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Michigan, California, and Illinois.

Forbes commenter Chuck DeVore noted that the top-five and the bottom five states narrowly represent the states with the lowest and highest tax rates respectively.

U-Haul’s pricing, none-the-less, encourages interstate traffic to non-growth states, as the company heavily subsidizes one-way travel towards those states and adds heavy taxes to more popular states in order to avoid its fleet of truck all moving to states like Florida. For instance, renting a tiny 10-foot truck from Fresno, California, to Austin, Texas, would cost about $2,000, while traveling in the opposite direction would only cost one-third as much.