Sarasota, Florida, skyline.
Adobe Stock Sarasota, Florida, skyline.

Dominating the U.S. growth cities list again in 2023, the Sunshine State claimed seven out of the 25 cities, according to the U-Haul Growth Index. The Palm Bay-Melbourne market registered the largest net gain of one-way U-Haul movers, the index found.

In the Palm Bay-Melbourne market, 54.7% of all one-way U-Haul traffic was arriving compared with just 45.3% departing in 2023.

"Growth in the Palm Bay-Melbourne area has been increasing at an explosive rate. The Space Coast has many companies investing in this region and creating jobs, such as Embraer, SpaceX, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and L3Harris Technologies,” says Cal Conner, U-Haul Company of Eastern Florida president.

"We have a low cost of living compared to many of the northern cities people have left,” Conner shares. “Add to that our fantastic year-round climate, and you can see why Palm Bay-Melbourne is such a desirable area to live."

The No. 1 growth city in 2022, Ocala, moved back one spot for 2023. The Sarasota-Bradenton market ranks No. 4 just behind Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina. Austin is the fifth-ranked growth city, which is the first of three top 10 Texas cities along with the College Station-Bryan market and Dallas.

The top 25 includes:

  1. Palm Bay-Melbourne, Florida
  2. Ocala, Florida
  3. Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina
  4. Sarasota, Bradenton, Florida
  5. Austin, Texas
  6. College Station-Bryan, Texas
  7. Charlotte, North Carolina
  8. Huntsville, Alabama
  9. Dallas, Texas
  10. Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  11. Kissimmee-St. Cloud, Florida
  12. Panama City-Panama City Beach, Florida
  13. North Port, Florida
  14. Boise, Idaho
  15. Wake Forest, North Carolina
  16. Conroe, Texas
  17. Knoxville, Tennessee
  18. Surprise, Arizona
  19. Auburn-Opelika, Alabama
  20. Lakeland, Florida
  21. Murfreesboro, Tennessee
  22. Wilmington, North Carolina
  23. Queen Creek, Arizona
  24. Henderson, Nevada
  25. Nampa, Idaho

Five other cities that followed the top 25 and posted strong net-gain numbers in 2023 include:

U-Haul calculates growth cities by each city's net gain (or loss) of one-way equipment from customer transactions in a calendar year. The U-Haul Growth Index is compiled from more than 2.5 million one-way U-Haul truck, trailer, and U-Box moving container transactions that occur annually across the U.S. and Canada. Neighboring cities in U-Haul markets are often packaged together for migration trends purposes.