One-way trips to a handful of cities in western Montana have helped push the state higher on the list of growing states, according to migration data released this month by U-Haul.
According to the company, Kalispell dominates the state in terms of earnings, Missoula, Helena and Hamilton also obtaining a high score in the net increase of U-Haul trucks.
Although migration trends are not directly related to population or economic growth, business growth data is a tool to assess whether cities and states attract and retain residents.
Montana has moved up eight places on this year’s list from 34 to 26.
“U-Haul one-way truck arrivals in Montana are down 2%, but departures are down 3% from 2018 state numbers,” said Andrea Batchelor, public relations specialist at the company. “With fewer moving trucks leaving the state, arrivals accounted for 50.2% of all one-way U-Haul traffic in Montana, making it State No. 26 for compensation for independent movers. “
Florida surpassed Texas as the first growth state for 2019. North Carolina also jumped 21 places to third on the list, with South Carolina and Washington completing the top five.
Illinois and California led the way in the exodus with the largest net loss of moving trucks crossing their borders.
“Growth states are calculated by the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a state compared to their departure in a calendar year,” said Batchelor. “Kalispell is leading Montana’s gains. But Helena, Columbia Falls, Missoula and Hamilton are among other notable cities to see a net increase in U-Haul trucks.”
Migration data is compiled annually from more than 2 million unidirectional U-Haul transactions.