U-Haul State Net Migration Rankings Have Clear Trends

Every year, U-Haul releases net migration rankings by calculating how many one-way rentals enter a state and subtracting how many leave it. There was a sample size of over two million moves last year. Here are their state rankings for 2020, with the 2019 ranking in parentheses:

1. Tennessee (12)
2. Texas (2)
3. Florida (1)
4. Ohio (7)
5. Arizona (20)
6. Colorado (42)
7. Missouri (13)
8. Nevada (24)
9. North Carolina (3)
10. Georgia (16)
11. Arkansas (23)
12. Indiana (9)
13. Wisconsin (41)
14. Oklahoma (14)
15. South Carolina (4)
16. West Virginia (22)
17. Utah (8)
18. Kentucky (37)
19. Montana (26)
20. Minnesota (15)
21. Kansas (18)
22. Alabama (6)
23. New Hampshire (31)
24. Iowa (30)
25. South Dakota (28)
26. Vermont (10)
27. Delaware (21)
28. Virginia (39)
29. Maine (33)
30. Idaho (11)
31. Mississippi (25)
32. Nebraska (19)
33. Wyoming (27)
34. Alaska (17)
35. Rhode Island (35)
36. Washington (5)
37. North Dakota (32)
38. Washington, D.C. (38)*
39. New Mexico (36)
40. Michigan (48)
41. Pennsylvania (46)
42. New York (43)
43. Connecticut (34)
44. Louisiana (40)
45. Oregon (29)
46. Maryland (45)
47. Massachusetts (47)
48. New Jersey (44)
49. Illinois (50)
50. California (49)

Note that Washington DC is listed here but Hawaii, which you cannot drive to or from, is not.

While there are some outliers, you can see pretty clear trends that movers consider high state taxes and more lockdown restrictions to be bad, and low taxes and less lockdown restrictions to be bad. Tennessee, Texas, and Florida all have no state income tax. California state income tax reaches as high as 12.3 percent for high earners. Illinois’ is 4.95 percent, but there is a 6.25 percent sales tax (which climbs up to over 11 percent in Chicago). New Jersey’s state income tax is 10.75 percent. As you can see by last year’s numbers, some of these trends were already in place before the pandemic.

According to U-Haul the biggest growth regions in Tennessee include Clarksville, Cleveland, Cookeville, Knoxville, Maryville, Murfreesboro, Nashville, and the tri-cities (Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol).

Other than taxes and pandemic restrictions, what trends do you notice here?

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.

14 Comments

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  1. Lives in Illinois all my life. Would leave for Arizona now but the wife wants a 5 year plan. Fine, I’ll grit my teeth and bear it for another few years.

    After that, see ya miserable winters and awful state governance.

    Not “sweet home chicago”, anymore.

    • Moved to AZ 12 years ago from socal generally love it would never go back the state legislature is still republican controlled but on national votes we seem to be purple if not blue disappointing but it would be better than chitown i would imagine welcome whenever you would decide to come.

  2. Yeah, people fleeing leftist states like they are fleeing a burning building, but 85mm people voted for this garbage. Right. For God’s sake blue state refugees, do not vote Democrat in your new state, or simply don’t vote.

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