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North Carolina sees state growth in population according to U-haul study

North Carolina is U-Haul’s top growth state of 2015, with more trucks entering the state than departing, causing the highest net gain and resulting in the most growth. Growth rankings were determined by data from approximately 1.7 million one-way U-Haul trucks.

Trailing behind North Carolina on the list are Virginia, Ohio, Florida and California.

“It’s not a change but a continuation of pattern — a lot of what we’re seeing isn’t new for N.C.,” said Rebecca Tippett, director of Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center. “Net migration is one of the driving forces behind N.C.’s continuous population growth and played a major role in shaping the development in our state’s population and will continue in the next decade or so.”

The U-Haul study coincides with a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau, which ranks North Carolina as the ninth most populated state. The report showed North Carolina had more than 10 million residents as of July 1, 2015.

Charlotte tops the list of North Carolina’s moving activity in terms of arrivals and departures, and Raleigh is ranked second.

Even though North Carolina was the state with the highest growth, there were no N.C. cities included in the Top 10 U.S. Growth Cities of 2015 list, also published by U-Haul. The first North Carolina city to appear on the list is Raleigh — 43 on the list — and the second is Asheville at 97.

Cary, Greenville and Winston-Salem fall just outside the top 100 cities.

“I think it just speaks to North Carolina’s overall growth throughout the state rather than being in one condensed area,” said Jeff Lockridge, a spokesperson for U-Haul.

Much of the attraction to North Carolina is focused in the large metropolitan areas that also appeal to people across the globe, like Charlotte and the Triangle, Tippett said.

“I think N.C. and the South more generally have grown in the past few decades,” she said. “It is affordable in comparison to some of the Northeast states. It has nice weather. North Carolina, as a state, has varieties that people can choose from — we don’t just have one metropolitan area, and they all offer different experiences.”

The U-Haul migration report cites similar reasons as to why North Carolina attracts movers.

“The temperate climate and overall quality of life that North Carolina offers is contagious,” Paul Smedberg, president of U-Haul Company of Raleigh, said in the U-Haul report. “All the metro areas, including Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, have experienced steady growth. It doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.”

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