The popular 1960s TV show "The Beverly Hillbillies" began each episode with the Family, newly rich after the patriarch's accidental oil strike while hunting, "loading up the truck" and moving to Beverly—Hills, that is.
People are still loading up the truck, but this time their destination is likely to be the Lone Star State. And they aren't coming to Texas because they struck it rich. No, they are much more likely to be searching for opportunity.
According to the move-yourself company U-Haul, Texas is once again the top destination nationwide for one-way truck rentals. It's been the top choice of U-Haul renters for three years now.
Not only that, but volume is growing. The number of those using U-Haul to move to Texas in 2018 was up 5 percent from the year before.
Top locations inside Texas include Spring, McKinney, Kaufman, Katy, Pflugerville, Round Rock and New Braunfels.
As for other states, Florida, South Carolina and Utah follow Texas on the list for attracting U-Haul renters.
From where are these folks fleeing? Michigan, Illinois and—you guessed it—California.
Lots of reasons. The cost of home ownership and daily living is lower in Texas than in many states. Taxes are lower and for business owners, regulations a lot less strict. Plus the potential for good jobs, especially—in a nod to Jed and his fellow Clampetts—the opportunities opened up by fracking.
Maybe the weather played a role, too, for those refugees from Illinois and Michigan.
Whatever the reason, Texas apparently has what people want. The question we in the Twin Cities should be asking is how we can attract some of these folks to plant their roots here.