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U.S. migration report: top growing cities and states

By measuring migration patterns of families moving, U-Haul’s annual report names the top growing cities and states, with Nashville, TN jumping from 15th in 2010 to number one in 2011.

Migration trends in America

U-Haul International, Inc. has released the results of their annual “U-Haul National Migration Trend Report” which is often used to measure top growth areas based on where people are moving. The 2011 Top U.S. Growth Cities Report names Nashville, TN as the top growing city for areas with more than 5,000 families moving, with the highest percentage of growth at 10.39 percent. Nashville was in the 15th spot in 2010, making this city a notable hotspot for growth.

“The report, reflective of growth patterns in the United States during 2011, was compiled based on nationwide trends in cities of all sizes and reflects communities with more than 5,000 families moving in or out of the area,” stated John Taylor, U-Haul president of Phoenix Operations. “Growth cities were then determined by calculating the percentage of inbound moves vs. outbound moves for each area.”

U-Haul says that the 2011 Top U.S. Growth Cities Report was compiled from more than 1.6 million U-Haul one-way truck transactions occurring during a recent 12-month period.

Fascinatingly, the company says that the annual mileage of North American U-Haul trucks, trailers and tow dollies would move a family to the moon and back again more than 9.9 times per day, every day of the year. The annual mileage of North American U-Haul trucks, trailers and tow dollies would travel around the Earth more than 177 times per day, every day of the year.

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Top 30 growth cities

January – December 2011, With More Than 5,000 Families Moving
(Rank, City, Growth)

  1. Nashville, TN (10.39%)
  2. Oakland, CA (10.29%)
  3. Denver, CO (8.05%)
  4. San Francisco, CA (6.99%)
  5. Vancouver, WA (5.31%)
  6. Louisville, KY (4.97%)
  7. Dallas, TX (4.77%)
  8. Raleigh, NC (4.68%)
  9. New York City, NY (4.64%)
  10. Columbus, OH (4.42%)
  11. Bakersfield, CA (4.30%)
  12. Austin, TX (3.90%)
  13. Phoenix, AZ (3.66%)
  14. Spokane, WA (3.64%)
  15. Tacoma, WA (3.11%)
  16. Albuquerque, NM (2.99%)
  17. Sacramento, CA (2.98%)
  18. Seattle, WA (2.96%)
  19. Tucson, AZ (2.78%)
  20. Chicago, IL (2.41%)
  21. Omaha, NE (2.18%)
  22. Madison, WI (1.88%)
  23. Houston, TX (1.75%)
  24. Los Angeles, CA (1.71%)
  25. Reno, NV (1.5%)
  26. Plano, TX (0.90%)
  27. Mesa, AZ (0.76%)
  28. Oklahoma City, OK (0.74%)
  29. Jersey City, NJ (0.30%)
  30. Charlotte, NC (0.24%)

Top 10 growth states

January – December 2011, With More Than 20,000 Families Moving:

  1. Florida, 4.11%
  2. Washington, 3.61%
  3. North Carolina, 3.44%
  4. Louisiana, 2.99%
  5. Alabama, 2.83%
  6. Kentucky, 2.20%
  7. Arizona, 1.96%
  8. Georgia, 1.77%
  9. Colorado, 1.14%
  10. Oklahoma, 1.04%

January – December 2011, With 5,000 – 20,000 Families Moving:

  1. Kansas, 6.72%
  2. Utah, 6.63%
  3. Idaho, 5.73%
  4. Minnesota, 3.76%
  5. Nebraska, 2.01%
  6. Montana, 2.00%
  7. Delaware, 1.89%
  8. West Virginia, 1.82%
  9. South Dakota, 1.51%
  10. Maine, 1.39%

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.



  1. Oscar

    March 28, 2012 at 9:57 am

    OK there’s something wrong wth the data. Top state is Florida and NOT one city from Floida is in the top 30 cities? Huh?

  2. Matt

    March 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    @Oscar – Agreed. Same with AL and GA (and Atlanta not on the list). Penske’s annual stats had Atlanta as the #1 inbound city in the US.

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