B.C. top U-Haul destination in 2020
January 13, 2021
British Columbia was the top province to move to in Canada in 2020, according to data released by U-Haul Canada analyzing internal migration patterns across the country.
But North Bay, Ontario, was ranked first among cities for attracting U-Haul moves.
U-Haul movements are generally considered a key metric for middle-class household migration: the wealthy hire moving companies; lower-income people rely on friends, family and a borrowed truck.
The data, ranked by the net gain of one-way U-Haul moving vans, includes a compilation of more than two million trips across Canada and the United States.
Alberta ranked third as a U-Haul destination in 2020, up from fourth a year earlier, while Saskatchewan came in at eighth, down one point from a year earlier. Manitoba ranked ninth, down from eighth place in 2019.
“While U-Haul migration trends do not correlate directly to population or economic growth, the company's growth data is an effective gauge of how well cities are attracting and maintaining residents,” said U-Haul spokesperson Jeff Lockridge.
B.C. destinations with the highest spikes in net-incoming traffic included North Vancouver, second across the country, and Vancouver, in seventh place.
U-Haul’s migration data registers the destinations of do-it-yourself movers based on where they drop off their vehicle.
In Coquitlam, incoming and outgoing U-Haul traffic was split 50-50, which marks a 1 per cent bump in arrivals and a 6 per cent decline in departures over 2019.
Across Canada, the city of North Bay topped all other one-way destinations in net inbound traffic, registering a 20 per cent uptick in 2020. This was due to strong job creation and low home prices in the North Bay area, according to U-Haul.
Other major spikes in incoming U-Haul traffic were reported in Nanaimo/Coombs on Vancouver Island (up 52 per cent) and Vancouver (up 16 per cent).
Airdrie, Alberta, was the only Prairie city ranked among the top 25 destinations (ranked 19).
Overall, B.C. saw a 3.3 per cent increase in arrivals in 2020, whereas departures rose 2.6 per cent. Only New Brunswick matched the number of net arrivals in B.C., bouncing back from a net loss in 2019 to register 22.7 per cent more arrivals year-over-year.