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Texas No. 1 As Americans Moved Closer To Family in 2021, U-Haul Says

Americans are moving to be closer to family, a survey says, as the pandemic sparks a shift in priorities and lifestyle choices.

Texas saw the largest net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks in 2021, the moving equipment company said Monday, as migration to southern states continues to be magnified by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Lone Star State edged out Florida, according to transactional data compiled for the annual U-Haul Growth Index, with Tennessee ranking third, South Carolina fourth and Alabama nailing the number five spot.

California is 50th and Illinois 49th on the list for the second consecutive year, the company said, indicating those states once again witnessed the largest net losses of one-way U-Haul trucks.

Growth states are calculated by the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a state versus leaving that state in a calendar year.

Migration trends data is compiled from over 2 million annual one-way U-Haul truck customer transactions.

"We see a lot of growth coming from the East and West Coast, Matt Merrill, U-Haul area district vice president of the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex and West Texas, said in a statement. "I think that's a lot due to the job growth – a lot of opportunity here. The cost of living here is much lower than those areas. Texas is open for business."

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In October Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report CEO Elon Musk said at the annual shareholder meeting that the electric vehicle company will move its headquarters from Palo Alto, Calif. to Austin, Texas.

Separately, United Van Lines issued a report of its own which determined Vermont as the state with the highest percentage of inbound migration, while New Jersey topped the list of outbound locations, a spot the Garden State has held for the past four years.

South Dakota, South Carolina, West Virginia and Florida were also revealed as the top inbound states for 2021. 

Illinois, New York, Connecticut and California, which have regularly appeared on the top outbound list in recent years, again ranked among states with the largest exoduses.

United Van Lines said its 45th Annual National Movers Study found that 31.8% of Americans who moved did so in order to be closer to family, which the company cited as a new trend coming out of the pandemic as priorities and lifestyle choices shift. 

In addition, 32.5% of Americans moved for a new job or job transfer, a significant decrease from 2015, when more than 60% of Americans cited a job or transfer.

"As the pandemic continues to impact our day-to-day, we're seeing that lifestyle changes — including the increased ability to work from home — and wanting to be closer to family are key factors in why Americans are moving today," said Eily Cummings, director of corporate communications at United Van Lines.