PORT ST. LUCIE - According to U-Haul data analyzing migration within the U.S. in 2020, Florida is the number three growth state in the country, after Tennessee and Texas. Florida, which was the number one growth state in 2019 based on U-Haul data, has been among the top four growth states each of the past six years.

Port St. Lucie was the number three growth city in the U.S. Florida cities took the top three spots, with North Port first and Kissimmee second, just above Port St. Lucie.

By comparison, Kissimmee was number two in 2019 and Port St. Lucie was number six. North Port showed the greatest increase, as it was not in the top 25 in 2019.

Cities near the region that made the top 25 growth cities in the country were Ocala at number six, down three spots from 2019, and Melbourne entering the list at number 23.

U-Haul calculations are based on the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks arriving in a city versus departing from that city in a calendar year, analyzing more than two million one-way truck rentals in all 50 states annually.

According to the company, people coming to Florida in one-way trucks increased 2% during 2020.

In Port St. Lucie, arrivals accounted for 53.4% of all one-way U-Haul traffic. People coming to Port St. Lucie in one-way trucks increased by a little more than 7% during 2020.

The company says the COVID-19 pandemic coincided with more people leaving densely populated areas, including New York City and San Francisco. According to the U-Haul data, California had the largest net loss of moving trucks leaving the state.

From the time the nation began to realize we were in a pandemic in March, U-Haul says, “the 30 most populated U.S. cities all witnessed more U-Haul trucks departing than arriving over the next three months. This indicated customers who were able to move, on the whole, were looking to escape urban cores for less-crowded destinations.”

U-Haul’s Florida representative sought to instead highlight the state’s pre-COVID attractions.

“Much of the growth in Florida is still attributed to retirement and the weather,” said Florida U-Haul representative Amanda Bauer. “It’s warm all the time, and people come from all over the country for the beach and lifestyle, as well as the numerous other benefits that Florida provides.”

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