The cities that Americans moved to the most in 2021, according to Penske

According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, fewer Americans are moving than ever before, but a new report says people who choose to flock to some famous cities.

Houston, Las Vegas and Phoenix topped this year’s edition of Penska’s Top Moving Destinations truck rental report, which uses data from its one-way reservations to rent trucks to consumers to compile a list of the country’s 10 most popular cities to relocate. Generally speaking, Sun Belt took the lead, and Dallas, Austin and San Antonio also ranked high.

Eight out of 10 cities found themselves on the 2020 census, creating a certain consistency from the pandemic era. Two newcomers this year – Chicago and Charlotte in North Carolina – have reappeared after a five-year or three-year break from the list.

These are the 10 best mobile destinations in the country for 2021, according to the Penska report:

  1. Houston
  2. Las Vegas
  3. Phoenix
  4. Charlotte, North Carolina (not ranked in the top 10 since 2017)
  5. Denver
  6. Saint Anthony
  7. Dallas
  8. Orlando, Florida
  9. Austin, Texas
  10. Chicago (which did not rank in the top 10 since 2015)

Penske says he has been compiling his annual list since 2010. U-Haul also publishes a similar report each year, using data from its own one-way client rental transactions, and has recently identified the country’s leading relocation states such as Tennessee, Texas and Florida.

The decline in the country’s relocation rate is historic: according to a report by the US Census Bureau in March, 8.4% of people changed their place of residence in 2021, down from 9.3% in 2020. This is the lowest since the Bureau began collect this data in 1948, and less than half the rate since that inauguration year.

Interestingly, this is not a pandemic: the rate has either fallen or remained stable every year for the past five years. During that same time period, most Americans who moved remained in their city or state, with relatively few people crossing state borders to establish new residence.

“In 2021, less than one-fifth [of movers] “moved from one state to another, while more than half moved within the same county,” the Bureau report said. “This was the case from 2017 to 2020.”

The report identified two trends that could be attributed to the pandemic: fewer international relocations, which “may be related to international travel restrictions” and fewer people moving for work-related reasons.

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