Surprise Is No. 18 U.S. Growth City of 2021, Says U-Haul Data


Surprise, Ariz., is the No. 18 growth city in America based on U-Haul truck moves throughout 2021, according to transactional data compiled for the annual U-Haul Growth Index.

People coming to Surprise in one-way U-Haul trucks rose nearly 10% year-over-year, while departures rose about 13% from 2020.

Despite the larger percentage in departures, arriving customers still accounted for 52.9% of all one-way U-Haul traffic in Surprise during 2021 to make it a leading city for netting do-it-yourself movers. Surprise, located northwest of Phoenix, was the U-Haul No. 8 growth city in 2020.

“Surprise is one of the fastest growing communities in the Phoenix area,” said Jesse Ashdown, U-Haul Company of Northwest Phoenix president. “People are tired of cold weather and want to live somewhere the sun is always shining. Surprise is a warm, welcoming and expanding city. There are good jobs, outdoor activities and affordable housing in Surprise, which has become even more accessible with the addition of the Interstate 303 loop. It makes sense that people are packing up their U-Haul trucks and heading here.”

The Kissimmee-St. Cloud (Fla.) corridor is the leading growth city of 2021. The markets of Raleigh-Durham (N.C.), Palm Bay-Melbourne (Fla.), North Port (Fla.) and Madison (Wis.) round out the top five.

Florida boasts 10 markets among the top 25 growth cities on the U-Haul chart. Texas has five cities on the list, while North Carolina, Wisconsin and California have two apiece.

Growth cities are calculated by the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a city versus leaving that city in a calendar year. Migration trends data is compiled from well over 2 million one-way U-Haul truck customer transactions that occur annually. Neighboring cities in U-Haul markets are often packaged together for migration trends purposes.

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 cities are both attracting and maintaining residents.

View the top 50 growth states and the top 25 Canadian growth cities here.

U-Haul is the authority on migration trends thanks to its expansive network that blankets all 10 provinces and 50 states. The geographical coverage from more than 23,000 U-Haul truck- and trailer-sharing locations provides a comprehensive overview of where people are moving like no one else in the industry.

2021 U-HAUL Top 25 U.S. Growth Cities

1. Kissimmee-St. Cloud, FL (2)
2. Raleigh-Durham, NC
3. Palm Bay-Melbourne, FL (23)
4. North Port, FL (1)
5. Madison, WI (5)
6. Fort Myers-North Fort Myers, FL
7. College Station-Bryan, TX
8. Sacramento-Roseville, CA (11)
9. Clermont, FL
10. Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
11. Daytona Beach, FL
12. San Diego, CA
13. Port St. Lucie, FL (3)
14. Milwaukee, WI (13)
15. Grapevine, TX
16. Austin, TX
17. Myrtle Beach, SC
18. Surprise, AZ (8)
19. Brandon-Riverview, FL
20. Wilmington, NC
21. Denver, CO
22. Richardson, TX
23. Auburn-Opelika, AL (4)
24. Ocala, FL (6)
25. Carrollton, TX

2020 growth rankings in parentheses, if ranked

PLUS FIVE more notable cities that just missed the cut but posted big growth numbers in 2021: Greenville, SC; Fort Collins, CO; Seattle, WA; Conroe, TX; Nashville, TN.

Since 1945, U-Haul has been the No. 1 choice of do-it-yourself movers, with a network of more than 23,000 locations across all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. U-Haul Truck Share 24/7 offers secure access to U-Haul trucks every hour of every day through the customer dispatch option on their smartphones and our proprietary Live Verify technology. Our customers’ patronage has enabled the U-Haul fleet to grow to approximately 176,000 trucks, 126,000 trailers and 46,000 towing devices. U-Haul offers nearly 825,000 rentable storage units and 71.6 million square feet of self-storage space at owned and managed facilities throughout North America. U-Haul is the largest retailer of propane in the U.S., and continues to be the largest installer of permanent trailer hitches in the automotive aftermarket industry. U-Haul has been recognized repeatedly as a leading “Best for Vets” employer and was recently named one of the 15 Healthiest Workplaces in America.

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