CHICAGO, Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Windy City is accustomed to a high level of residential turnover, but 2014 yielded more U-Haul trucks departing Chicago than arriving.
Last year, the pattern reversed.
Chicago claimed No. 5 among the Top 10 U.S. Growth Cities for 2015. Growth rankings are determined by the net gain of incoming one-way U-Haul truck rentals versus outgoing rentals for the past calendar year.
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"As a global transportation and communications hub, Chicago is attracting more major company headquarters each year as businesses recognize the region is one of the best places to live, work and visit in the nation," said Theresa E. Mintle, president and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.
U-Haul locations in Chicago saw 50.6 percent of one-way truck rental customers coming into the city as opposed leaving in 2015 – a shift from 2014 when incoming rentals accounted for less than 49.6 percent of U-Haul traffic. Chicago welcomed 10 percent more U-Haul arrivals year-over-year, while its departures were up 5 percent over the same span. The overall bump in traffic made Chicago a busy place for U-Haul movers.
While Chicago has its hurdles to overcome and Illinois struggles to offset population losses in recent years, positive signs for the city's small business job growth are among many reasons for optimism moving forward.
"There are more than 400 neighborhood festivals every year in Chicago, each with food, culture and music to enjoy," said Jamie Lee, president of U-Haul Company of North Shore Chicago. "The views from the rooftops and sky decks are breathtaking, no matter if you are a visitor or a resident. When you see the cityscape, it's stunning."
While U-Haul migration trends don't correlate directly to population or economic growth, the growth cities data is a strong gauge of how well cities are attracting and keeping residents. The report was compiled from more than 1.7 million one-way U-Haul truck transactions that occurred in 2015. All cities were considered, regardless of size.