(The Center Square) – An annual U-Haul Growth Index shows Michigan ranks 48 out of 50 – a bottom five state for growth in 2022.
The U-Haul Growth Index shows net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks arriving in a state or city, versus departing from that state or city, in a calendar year. Migration trends data is compiled from more than 2 million one-way U-Haul truck transactions that occur annually across the U.S. and Canada.
Texas, Florida and the Carolinas were the preferred destinations of one-way U-Haul truck customers during 2022.
U-Haul data confirms migration to the Southeast and Southwest U.S. continued through last year.
Demand for equipment out of California, Illinois and New York remained strong in 2022, as more people opted to leave areas of the West Coast, Northeast and Midwest.
New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois and California are the bottom five states on the U-Haul Growth Index for the third consecutive year, meaning those states saw the greatest net losses of one-way U-Haul trucks.
“The 2022 trends in migration followed very similar patterns to 2021 with Texas, Florida, the Carolinas, and the Southwest continuing to see solid growth,” U-Haul International President John Taylor said in a statement. “We still have areas with strong demand for one-way rentals. While overall migration in 2021 was record-breaking, we continue to experience significant customer demand to move out of some geographic areas to destinations at the top of our growth list.”
Rep. Mark Tisdel, R-Rochester Hills, blamed Michigan’s population loss on expensive electricity costs and poor infrastructure.
“Too many people move away to other states and not enough people move here,” Tisdel told The Center Square in a text message. “Broken roads, failing schools, and high electricity prices have created difficulties for families and job providers. A new income tax hike and even higher energy prices in the future will only make things worse.”
More than 60,000 people have left Michigan since 2020.
“Instead, we need to make our communities more desirable, affordable places for families to live and work. We can do that by investing our resources and shaping public policy to fix our roads, bolster public safety, and help students learn — while cutting taxes whenever possible. If we get the basics right without raising costs, we’ll have people driving U-Hauls into Michigan instead of out.”
Michigan’s infrastructure woes range from road pavement quality to unreliable electricity causing frequent, long power outages, to outdated water infrastructure such as sanitary sewers, stormwater and flood control.
A Citizens Research Council of Michigan report said efforts to attract residents from other states are “stymied in part by poorly maintained infrastructure, which is generally worse than national averages and surrounding states.”
Texas is the No. 1 growth state for the second consecutive year and the fifth time since 2016. Florida, which ranks second, has been a top-three growth state seven years in a row.
South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Arizona, Georgia, Ohio and Idaho round out the top 10 growth states. Virginia and Alabama are the biggest risers, climbing 26 spots from their respective 2021 rankings.