If you want to annoy a blue-state governor, one of the best ways to do it is to point out to him or her that people are leaving blue states in droves, something that has been taking place for well over a decade now and which was confirmed last year by Census numbers and again earlier this month by U-Haul’s annual growth index report.

According to their analysis, the two states that netted the most one-way inbound traffic from U-Haul in 2021 were Texas and Florida:

The Lone Star State earned bragging rights as the leading growth state of 2021, narrowly besting Florida for tops honors, according to transactional data compiled for the annual U-Haul Growth Index.

Tennessee ranks third, South Carolina fourth and Arizona fifth among the top growth states.

Growth states are calculated by the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucksentering a state versus leaving that state in a calendar year. Migration trends data is compiled from well over 2 million one-way U-Haul truck customer transactions that occur annually.


“We see a lot of growth coming from the East and West Coast,” said Matt Merrill, U-Haul Area District Vice President of the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex and West Texas. “A lot of people moving here from California (and) New York. We also see a lot of people coming in from the Chicago markets. 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.”

The report did note that some Northeastern states saw some migration recovery last year, but that others were hit hard. And as for California, well, their note about what happened there speaks for itself:

Select Northeast markets showed year-over-year migration recoveries as Maine rose 21 spots, Vermont 14 spots and Connecticut 25 spots in the U-Haul Growth Index. Yet three of the six states with the largest net losses were also in the Northeast: New York (45), Massachusetts (47) and Pennsylvania (48).

California remained the top state for out-migration, but its net loss of U-Haul trucks wasn’t as severe as in 2020. That can be partially attributed to the fact that U-Haul simply ran out of inventory to meet customer demand for outbound equipment. (Emphasis mine)


Like her colleague Mike Merrill above, U-Haul Company South Austin president Kristina Ramos pointed out that there are very good reasons why so many people are choosing to move to Texas.

“The Texas economy is growing fast,” she stated. “With a strong job market and low cost of living, it’s a no brainer. Texas doesn’t have an income tax, so families get more for their money.”

Not surprisingly, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) took to the Twitter machine to do some bragging:

In addition to leaving blue states for economic reasons, pandemic lockdowns over the last two years also caused an influx of people from blue states to red states as people got fed up with state government overreach on issues like mask and vaccine mandates as well as the “emergency orders” that effectively shut small businesses down, some of them for good.

While red-state governors love touting data like this, there are problems that oftentimes come with these migrations, as other states (like North Carolina) have found out the hard way. Simply put, a lot of people fleeing blue states come to red states and then push for the same types of big government policies that led to their original cities and states becoming so overly-regulated and expensive to live in in the first place.

As I’ve often said, I welcome people visiting my state, because I happen to think it’s the best state in the country. But if you’re the type of person who comes here to live because the cost of living is cheaper and yet turn around and push for the very types of social programs and laws/regulations that causes taxes and the costs of everything else to go up, then you can do us all a favor and just visit and then go back home – and stay there. I feel so strongly about this that if I was my state’s governor, that caveat would appear on all “Welcome to North Carolina” signs.

Click here to see where your state ranked on the list.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —