U-Haul announces top growth states of 2023 – CA has the largest loss 4th year in a row

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Photo credit: U-Haul

CALIFORNIA – U-Haul published its annual Growth Index report, January 2, calculating the growth in each state by its net gain (or loss) of one-way equipment from customer transactions in a calendar year. For the fourth year in a row, California reflected the largest net loss of one-way movers.

According to the US Census Bureau, California had a net loss in population of 75,423 people in 2023. California’s April 2020 population of 39,538,212 is now down to 38,965,193 – an overall loss of 573,019 people.

Top Growth States

“Migration to states in the Southeast and Southwest is still very pronounced. Demand for one-way equipment out of certain markets in the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast mirrors what we have seen during recent moving cycles,” said U-Haul International president John “J.T.” Taylor.

According to U-Haul, Texas is the No. 1 growth state for the sixth time in eight years (2016-18 and 2021-23).  Florida takes the second spot for growth and has been a top-four growth state for nine years in a row.

“The biggest climbers year-over-year (YOY) in the U-Haul growth rankings are Arkansas (+26 spots), Wyoming (+19), Vermont (+18), Washington (+16), Delaware (+12) and South Dakota (+12). The biggest fallers YOY are Oregon (-15 spots), Connecticut (-14), Pennsylvania (-14), Ohio (-14), Missouri (-13) and Indiana (-13),” said the report.

2023 U-Haul Growth States

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

** 2022 growth rankings in parentheses **

California’s population drain

A Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research report found that California’s high cost of living has spurred many businesses and residents to leave the state. The researchers said this poses serious consequences for the state’s job market and fiscal outlook.

The report goes on to say that two-thirds of those who moved said that politics was not a factor in their decision, but the population loss has political consequences. California lost a congressional seat after the 2020 census.

In addition, California’s environmental policies and mandates could fuel the economic and political exodus to more lenient states like Arizona and Texas.

“A good example of a potential problem is the state’s mandate to end the sale of gas-powered vehicles in California by 2035. California officials are aware of the possibility that mandates such as converting over to electric vehicles could lead to a greater economic and political exodus to states like Arizona and Texas,” states the report.

The report recommends California work harder on its role in the American West.

“The energy transition will be harder to achieve if other western states do not share the same goals with respect to decarbonization and climate adaptation,” states the report. 

The researchers say that buying out of state wind and solar will give interior western states economic reasons to support the state’s energy policies.

RELATED: Report says $80,013 living wage is required to live in California


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