More people moved to Tennessee, Texas, and Florida than any other states in 2020, according to data from U-Haul - see the full ranking

More people moved to Tennessee, Texas, and Florida than any other states in 2020, according to data from U-Haul - see the full ranking
UHaul moving truck parked in a suburban neighborhood in San Ramon, California, wide angle, February 2, 2020.Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
  • Tennessee, Texas, and Florida saw the arrival of more one-way U-Haul trucks than any other states in 2020.
  • Texas led the way from 2016 to 2018 until Florida took the top spot in 2019.
  • California saw the lowest "migration growth" of any state on U-Haul's list.

U-Haul data shows that more people moved to Tennessee than any other state last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Texas led the way in U-Haul-based migration growth from 2016 to 2018 until Florida took the top spot in 2019. However, like other trends that were disrupted during the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 saw the rise in movers to Tennessee. And as a result, Texas and Florida were bumped down to second and third place, respectively.

Read more: Elon Musk and other tech powerhouses are flocking to Texas, pushing an already bonkers real-estate market to new heights. Take a look inside Austin, which is quickly becoming the next Silicon Valley.

On the opposite end, since 2016, California has ranked at the bottom three of U-Haul's list, and 2020 was no exception: last year, California plummeted to the absolute bottom of the list, which is no surprise given the recent Silicon Valley defection trend.

According to Jeff Porter, the president of U-Haul in Nashville, people are migrating from California to Tennessee because of the southeastern state's lack of income tax but plentiful supply of jobs.


"Nashville is ever-growing, and even the era of COVID-19 isn't slowing that," Porter said in a statement on U-Haul's release. "We were seeing movement before the virus hit, but I think the situation has pushed a lot more people away from the west coast to our state."

One-way U-Haul users headed to Tennessee increased 12% year-over-year, while trucks leaving increased 9%, according to U-Haul. Arriving trucks made up 50.6% of one-way U-Haul users in the state.

After the coronavirus-induced national emergency was called in March, the 30 most occupied cities in the US had more U-Haul trucks departing than arriving for the following three months. This indicated a desire to move from packed cities to less busy locations amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to U-Haul.

As a result, arrivals to New York City decreased 35% year-over-year from March to December 2020, while the Bay Area similarly saw a 31% drop during the same period.

In line with this Tennessee boom and big coastal city departure, more people are now moving to the southeast, southwest, midwest, and Rocky Mountain areas, according to U-Haul.


Read more: The tech elite are abandoning Silicon Valley in droves because of 'monoculture' and high taxes - here's where they're headed

The moving and storage giant calculated its list of 50 states - sorted by "migration growth" in 2020 - by finding the difference between the number of one-way U-Haul trucks that arrived in a state, and the number of trucks that left the same state. In total, the company analyzed over 2 million U-Haul users for its ranking.

It's important to note that U-Haul has Washington DC listed as a state. Hawaii wasn't included on the list.

Here's U-Haul's full ranking of states by migration growth. For comparison, the states' 2019 rankings are in parenthesis:

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)