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Houston No. 1 Moving Destination Says Rental Co.

Published May 05, 2022 by A.J. Mistretta

MovingBoxes.jpg

How many people chose to move to Houston last year as the pandemic shook up the job and quality of life priorities of Americans? Turns out, quite a few, according to a new ranking from major moving company Penske.  

Houston ranked No. 1 on the company’s latest list of Top 10 Moving Destinations. The ranking is based on Penske’s one-way truck rental data for the 2021 calendar year.

The truck giant says 2021 was an incredibly robust year for rentals, a trend that’s continued into 2022. 

More than 20% more Americans moved in 2021, compared with 2020, and the new remote work opportunities allowed as many as 23 million Americans to relocate, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Penske reported that most of the moves in 2021 were into the Sun Belt region, including four major metro areas of Texas: Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and, of course, Houston, which ranked No. 6 on last year’s list. After a five-year hiatus, Chicago was back on the list at No. 10, and Charlotte reemerged in the No. 4 spot after a break since 2018.

Penske first started compiling the list in 2010. Some of the cities that have repeatedly shown up through the years include Phoenix, Houston and Orlando.  

Here's the breakdown of rankings in 2021 compared with where they ranked in 2020. 

  1. Houston, TX (6)
  2. Las Vegas, NV (1)
  3. Phoenix, AZ (2)
  4. Charlotte, NC (Has not ranked since the 2018 list.)
  5. Denver, CO (3)
  6. San Antonio, TX (9)
  7. Dallas, TX (8)
  8. Orlando, FL (7)
  9. Austin, TX (4)
  10. Chicago, IL (Has not ranked since the 2015 list.)

In another measure of Houston’s growth, the region was one of only a few major metros in the U.S. to see its population grow during the worst period of the COVID-19 pandemic between July 2020 and July 2021, according to newly released Census figures. 

The nine-county Houston metro area added 69,094 new residents during the 12-month period. That took the region’s population to 7,206,841, up from 7,137,747. While a few other major metros such as Dallas, Phoenix and Atlanta also experienced gains, most including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami and Washington D.C. saw population declines. 

Learn more about where people are moving in this region in the April edition of Houston Economy at a Glance

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