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As anyone who's seen all the Illinois license plates in west Lake County in recent years can attest, people are moving to Indiana.

Indiana ranked ninth nationally in bringing in do-it-yourself movers last year, according to U-Haul.

The Phoenix-based moving truck rental company analyzed its records of the more than 2 million one-way U-Haul truck-renting transactions a year and determined Indiana was the No. 9 growth state in America in 2019, the third straight year the Hoosier state has brought in more people than who have left.

Indiana ranked No. 26 nationally in 2018 and 17th in 2017.

Last year, about 50.2% of people taking one-way U-Haul trucks to or from Indiana were bound for the Hoosier state instead of out of state, U-Haul noted in its annual U.S. Growth States report. The number of people moving to Indiana last year actually declined by 4% year over year in 2019, but departures to other states also dropped by 5% as compared to the previous year.

“The low cost of doing business here is a major draw,” said Patrick Cheek, president of U-Haul Co. of Central Indiana. “People are moving to Indiana to create jobs. The opportunities for growth and innovation are never-ending. People of all walks of life can see themselves living in Indiana.”

Michigan City led Northwest Indiana in net increase in U-Haul trucks last year, while Greenwood and Noblesville saw the most inbound migration statewide.

Nationally, Florida ranked as the top growth state in 2019, followed by Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Washington state. 

Neighboring Illinois had the most people moving out for the fourth time in five years.

The study included 49 states and the District of Columbia. It did not include Hawaii, since it's not possible to drive a U-Haul from there to the contiguous United States.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.