With warm weather nearly all year and a more leisurely pace of life, it’s no wonder that U-Haul’s annual study revealed that more folks are making their way south of the Mason–Dixon Line, specifically to Texas and Florida, though three other Southern states – Arkansas, South Carolina and Tennessee – rounded out the top five places where people were putting down roots in 2017.
U-Haul calculates these rankings by measuring the number of one-way arrivals its trucks make against one-way departures, meaning people are in those states to stay. For 2017, the numbers showed Texas coming out on top for the second year in a row, a dramatic rise from 2015 when the state was ranked 39th.
Although U-Haul says that “migration trends do not correlate directly to population or economic growth,” it’s hard to imagine that there isn’t an overarching reason for people migrating to the Lone Star State. Who wouldn’t want to live in state full of beautiful flowers, theme parks and, obviously, life-changing barbecue?
In any case, those who aren’t moving under the expansive Texas skies are finding themselves drawn to the glittering coastal waters of Florida. With its balmy weather and colorful seaside lifestyle, this state has been in the top five for years. In 2015, it ranked 4th place, and for the past two years, the Sunshine State has comfortably sat in second.
Either way you look at it, it appears that Americans are looking for a warm, leisurely pace of life.
It is worth noting that both of these states experienced major devastation and exodus as a result of hurricanes in 2017. Nevertheless, emigrants were still outpaced by immigrants to give both these states the top two spots.
If we’re being honest, none of this comes as any surprise, because everything is bigger in Texas. Whether that means margaritas, dance halls or the number of people moving into the state, a Texan knows that bigger is truly better. And so we welcome all those newcomers with a smile and a “How y’all doin’?”
It’s a Lone Star state of mind.