Population boom

Dallas trucks in No. 7 ranking on new list of most popular U.S. destinations for movers

Dallas trucks in No. 7 ranking among hottest U.S. spots for movers

Dallas traffic, I75, Central Expressway, highway
This explains all the traffic. Getty Images

A new report confirms what Dallas drivers already know as they eye all of the out-of-state license plates on the roads: There are more new residents here than ever before. 

Dallas has moved up in Penske Truck Rental’s annual ranking of the country’s most popular moving destinations. In 2021, Dallas ranked seventh among the hottest U.S. moving destinations, Penske says. That’s up from the No. 8 position in 2020.

Penske compiles the annual list by analyzing one-way consumer truck rental reservations made over a 12-month span.

Dallas and its big-city counterparts in Texas continue to see their populations swell for a number of reasons, including warm weather, no state income tax, relatively low housing costs, and plentiful job opportunities. From 2010 to 2020, Texas posted the third largest population increase (15.9 percent) among the states, with Utah ranked first and Idaho ranked second, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“There are lots of places in America with jobs and lower climate risks or jobs and racial diversity, but if you want all three, Texas will take care of you best,” The New York Times noted in 2021.

Houston actually ranked No. 1 among the hottest U.S. moving destinations in the Penske report. That’s up from the No. 6 position in 2020.

“It’s not hard to see why Houston is an attractive city for many people. A booming job market combined with low cost of living and sunny weather year-round make Houston a great choice for building a life and raising a family,” says Life Storage, an operator of self-storage facilities.

From 2020 to 2021, the Houston metro area gained 78,220 residents, putting it in third place for numeric population growth among U.S. metros (behind Dallas-Fort Worth and Phoenix, and just ahead of Austin).

Dallas and Houston share the Penske top 10 with two other places in Texas:

  • Sixth-ranked San Antonio, up from No. 9 the previous year.
  • Ninth-ranked Austin, down from No. 4 the previous year.

U-Haul, another provider of moving trucks, ranked Texas as the No. 1 destination for DIY movers in 2021.

A recent ranking from PODS, a provider of moving containers, shows DFW was the No. 2 destination for its customers from January 2021 through March 2022.