Alabama Jumps 36 Places in U-Haul Migration Trends

Census data seems to indicate that Alabama’s population growth isn’t exploding like other states in the South, but a new sampling of migration trends from U-Haul suggests that may be changing.

Alabama jumped 36 spots – the most of any state in the past year – to take the No. 6 Growth State in America, according to the U-Haul analysis. Alabama measured as a growth state for 2015-17 before seeing a net loss of U-Haul trucks and ranking 42nd for 2018.

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.

Alabama arrivals of one-way U-Haul trucks were up 2 percent while departures were down 1 percent compared to the state’s 2018 numbers.

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Arrivals accounted for 50.3 percent of all one-way U-Haul traffic in Alabama to make it the No. 6 state for netting do-it-yourself movers. “Alabama is one of those states typically maintains a steady population,” said Scott Fall, U-Haul Company of Central Alabama president. “Areas around our major universities are growing, and the Birmingham and Montgomery markets are also bringing in residents because the housing markets are good.”

Florida took over from Texas as the top growth state for 2019, ending the Lone Star State’s three-year run atop the rankings for 2016-18. Florida rose one spot after being No. 2 for growth the previous three years. North Carolina jumped 21 spots to third on the list, with South Carolina and Washington rounding out the top five.

Illinois and California are going the other way, leading the out-migration list with the largest net losses in terms of moving trucks crossing their borders.

The Southeast accounts for four of the top six growth states with Alabama’s climb up the rankings, while Utah and Vermont maintained their status among the top 10. Illinois sits 50th for the fourth time in five years, outpacing No. 47 Massachusetts, No. 48 Michigan and No. 49 California for the most net departures.

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