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Tracking Economic Trends From Relocation Data

Relocation numbers for 2016 were at an all-time low, according to U.S. Census data. But, annual data don't always reflect economic growth trends.

Jeff Lockridge, spokesperson for U-Haul Inc. headquartered in Phoenix, said U-Haul recorded more people moving out of Phoenix than moving into the city last year.

“I guess if we categorize a city as a net-loss city for a given year, it doesn’t actually mean business was down. There may have been more moving happening in that city than the previous year,” he said.

The latest Census Bureau American Community Survey said metro Phoenix is growing about 8 percent per year. It also said Phoenix’s population of educated 25-34 year-olds is growing about 26 percent annually.

Lockridge said annual data are short-term and don't show long-term growth, like in Texas a few years ago.

“Everybody was leaving because the oil industry took such a big hit, but now it’s Texas again, but everybody is moving back,” Lockridge said.

The Community Survey also included the most common reasons for moving: new or better housing, family and job relocation.

Heather van Blokland was a host at KJZZ from 2016 to 2021.