- The Sunshine State has 4 of the top 25 markets for netting one-way U-Haul customers
- It is the third consecutive year that a Florida city has topped the U-Haul growth rankings
- The Kissimmee–St. Cloud corridor earned that honor in 2021. North Port was No. 1 for 2020
Florida has become a citadel for people looking to relocate, according to a new report from U-Haul.
The new study by the moving and self-storage company revealed that people continue to plant their roots in the Sunshine State. Ocala took the gold medal as the top growth city in America based on the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks during the past year, with an additional four Florida destinations landing on the top 25 list on the annual U-Haul Growth Index.
Ocala, in particular, saw a 6% year-over-year increase in arrivals and only a 1% increase in departures. Do-it-yourself movers arriving in Ocala accounted for more than 53% of all one-way U-Haul truck traffic in and out of the market (47% departures).
“Florida had a number of top growth cities, Ocalabeing No. 1,” stated Ed Hatcher, U-Haul Area District Vice President who oversees Company operations across northern Florida. “A lot of that has to do with the small-town feel and everything being extremely close for people to get to.”
Hatcher added that the Ocala market “may receive U-Haul trucks from people moving to neighboring communities,” like The Villages, Leesburg, and Orlando suburbs such as Clermont, which he noted reflects positively for the entire area.
U-Haul’s ranking comes on the heels of a Tuesday study, reported by the New York Post, which showed that people are fleeing blue states like New York and California in favor of lower-taxed, red places like Florida and Texas.
“To those state leaders watching their citizens flee: this isn’t a spontaneous phenomenon. Decline is a choice. Your choice,” said DeSantis Press Secretary Bryan Griffin. “Florida chooses law & order, core education, freedom, and responsible government.”
Additionally, the Sacramento–Roseville market and Madison, WI ranked second and third on the 2022 growth cities list, respectively.
Rounding out the top 10 growth cities are Palm Bay–Melbourne, FL; Auburn-Opelika, AL; North Port, FL; Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach, SC; Surprise, AZ; Huntsville, AL; and Charleston-North Charleston, SC.
The U-Haul Growth Index is compiled according to the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks arriving in a city or state, versus departing from that city or state, in a calendar year. Migration trends data is compiled from more than 2 million one-way U-Haul truck transactions that occur annually across the U.S. and Canada.