Gonzales among state's top net-gain cities, Louisiana ranks 43rd in U-Haul Growth Index

Staff Report
U-Haul released its annual Growth Index.

Gonzales ranked among the top net-gain cities in the state, while Louisiana overall was 43rd in growth in the annual U-Haul Growth Index.

According to the company's 2021 transactional data, people coming into Louisiana in one-way U-Haul trucks rose 9 percent year-over-year. Departures rose 9 percent from 2020 as overall moving traffic increased.

Louisiana moved up one notch from its ranking of 44th in the 2020 index.

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

The top growth states were Texas, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Arizona. The same top-three states led the list for a second year.

California came in last on the list, followed by Illinois for the second straight year. Those states saw the largest net losses of one-way rental trucks.

Among Louisiana's top growth cities were Covington, Lafayette, and Baton Rouge. Notable net-gain cities included Gonzales, Slidell, Hammond, Lake Charles, Bogalusa, Thibodaux, and Denham Springs.

Though U-Haul migration trends do not correlate directly to population or economic growth, the index serves as a gauge of how well states are both attracting and maintaining residents. 

In a news release, a company spokesperson pointed out the migration trend to southern states has continued.

"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."

Indiana, Colorado, Maine, Idaho, and New Mexico rounded out the top 10 growth states of 2021.