The 10 Most Popular U.S. Cities to Move to

Family getting ready to move
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Americans always seem to be headed somewhere else. In fact, the average citizen moves nearly 12 times over the course of a lifetime, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Many of these moves are more modest ventures — across town, or even just a block or two away. But some of us also occasionally get the itch to try out a grander adventure in a new city or state.

For the past dozen years, Penske Truck Rental has crunched the numbers from one-way consumer truck rental reservations made through its company website and compiled the list of cities that attract the most Americans on the move.

Following is the list of top destinations of 2021.

10. Chicago

Chicago, Illinois
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Everybody knows Chicago is one of America’s great cities, with soaring architecture and all of the hustle and drive that have helped make the nation a social and economic leader.

But it’s easy to overlook the quieter side of Chicago, which can be found in more than 580 parks and 8,300 acres of green spaces.

9. Austin, Texas

Austin Texas
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In the past few years, Austin has become America’s trendiest city — the place hip people want to be. That popularity has caused housing values to soar, with prices rising nearly 70% since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more, check out “12 Cities Where Home Values Have Jumped Over 40% Since the Pandemic Started.”

8. Orlando, Florida

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Orlando’s main claim to fame remains its status as the home of Walt Disney World. However, the city has grown into something far beyond Mickey and Minnie’s wildest dreams.

The Orlando region is projected to add 1,500 new residents a week over the next decade or so, with the population eventually reaching 5.2 million.

7. Dallas

Longhorns on parade in Dallas-Fort Worth
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Dallas has been dubbed “the de facto capital of the American Heartland,” and it is home to two dozen Fortune 500 company headquarters. Only New York City and Chicago have more.

Four decades ago, there were fewer than five such companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Like several other Texas cities, the popularity of Dallas seems boundless.

6. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio at night.
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Another Texas city drawing residents like flies, San Antonio remains a surprisingly affordable place for new transplants, as we highlight in “The 11 Most Affordable Cities for Renters in America.”

5. Denver

woman running in winter
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Four relatively mild seasons, a booming economy, the Rocky Mountains at your doorstep: What’s not to love about Denver?

The city is a mecca for those who thrive in the outdoors, with a well-regarded park system and up to seven months of skiing within an hour’s drive of the city limits.

4. Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina
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Charlotte has quietly become one of the 25 biggest cities in the U.S. and is home to more than 10 Fortune 1000 companies. It also ranks among the “The 15 Cleanest Big Cities in America.”

3. Phoenix

Homes in Phoenix, Arizona
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Life in the desert has never been hotter, with people flocking to Phoenix in droves.

Seniors always have been attracted to the city’s warm weather, but now they have another reason to head to Arizona: Phoenix places No. 4 on the list of the “15 Cities With the Most Digitally-Connected Seniors.”

2. Las Vegas

Older couple in Las Vegas
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For years, people considered Las Vegas a place to visit, not a city worthy of relocation. Sin City still attracts a lot of visitors: It has 147,000 hotel rooms and remains a prime destination for conventions.

But more recently, Las Vegas has been one of the fastest-growing cities in America as more people have succumbed to its many charms and decided to call it home.

1. Houston

Riding bikes in Houston
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The fourth Texas city on this top 10 list, the nation’s fourth-largest city has become an economic powerhouse in recent years. And it’s not just native-born Americans who move here in search of opportunity: 1 in 4 of Houston’s 7 million residents were born in a country other than the U.S., according to the Greater Houston Partnership.

Between 2010 and 2018, Houston grew by 18.2%, the fastest growth rate among any of the nation’s 10 most populous metro areas.

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