For the fourth year in a row, liberal California topped U-Haul’s Growth Index list for having the largest net outbound movers in 2023.
U-Haul publishes its Growth Index report every year, analyzing the difference between the number of one-way U-Haul trucks coming into a state or city and those leaving. If a mover relocates from California to Texas, for example, that would be calculated as Texas’s gain.
“While one-way transactions in 2023 remained below the record-breaking levels we witnessed immediately following the pandemic, we continued to see many of the same geographical trends from U-Haul customers moving between states,” John “J.T.” Taylor, U-Haul International president, said in a statement Tuesday.
For the past three years, Texas secured the highest count of movers using one-way U-Haul moving equipment, maintaining its position at the summit of the moving company’s Growth Index.
Terry Gilliam, founder of the “Leaving California” Facebook group, said the continuing exodus “is no surprise” to conservatives in the deep-blue state.
“All you have to do is look at the continuing move left by California and you can see why middle-class and upper-class taxpayers — the producers — are leaving,” Gilliam, whose Facebook group has more than 100,000 members, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday.
Gilliam lived in California for 25 years and moved to Florida two years ago. His group has grown so much that it now includes a list of moving resources for residents planning to leave the Golden State.
“The gas tax — already the highest in the country — goes up every July 1st. Most utilities just received permission for a double-digit increase in rates, which are already more than double the national average for rates,” he continued. “Add to the above the cost of ever-increasing regulations, continuing resentment over pandemic mandates — with possibly more to come — transgender discussions with young children in school, and talk of raising taxes even more to cover an inept state government’s $68 billion deficit.”
According to U.S. Census data, California lost more than 75,000 people in 2023.
But which states are former Californians moving to?
Texas has held the top spot on the U-Haul Growth Index six times in the last eight years, with half of all one-way U-Haul moves boosting its 2023 lead. Florida, another consistent top choice for newcomers, closely follows Texas, and North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee are also ranked high among preferred destinations for relocating Californians. More than half of all one-way U-Haul rentals in and out of Texas significantly fueled the state’s growth, U-Haul data showed.
“While U-Haul migration trends do not correlate directly to population or economic growth, the U-Haul Growth Index is an effective gauge of how well states and cities are attracting and maintaining residents,” the report reads.
According to U-Haul, there are more than 2 million one-way U-Haul truck trips annually in the U.S. and Canada.
Similar to Texas, U-Haul’s assessment of California’s standing appears to match U.S. Census records. Between 2021 and 2022, more than 817,000 people left California, surpassing the approximately 475,000 arrivals during the same period. Census data also indicates population declines in blue states like Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts.