PITTSBURGH (AP) – A survey of U-Haul truck rentals shows the city leads all others in the country in the percentage of people moving into the city compared to those leaving.
The company’s study shows 9 percent more people have rented one-way trucks to move items to Pittsburgh than were renting U-Hauls to move one-way out of the city, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Friday.
Bill Flanagan, executive vice president of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, said he believes the survey means more younger people – that is, those fit enough to move their own furniture – are moving into the city.
“This is just another positive indication of what we have known has been going on for the last two or three years,” Flanagan said. City government and economic development officials have been fretting about the city’s dwindling population since the steel industry bust of the 1970s and 80s and, more specifically, the so-called “brain drain” that has seen Pittsburgh’s youngest and brightest leave for careers in other places.
But the U-Haul study seems to support the findings of Pittsburgh Today, a website which showed the population decline reversing since 2010. The Pittsburgh Economic Quarterly examined U.S. Census data last month and similarly concluded the Pittsburgh region has been growing about 0.2 percent since 2010, with 2.36 million people now living in the metro area.
The runner up to Pittsburgh in the U-Haul study was Henderson, Nev., which had 7.5 percent more people renting incoming trucks than outgoing. Houston was the top destination overall for U-Haul movers, but nearly as many people were renting trucks to leave the city, the survey found.
The top five cities contributing to Pittsburgh’s growth are Philadelphia, Erie and State College, all in the state, and Columbus, Ohio and Washington, D.C. The top five places where Pittsburghers have been moving are Philadelphia, Erie and Washington, D.C., along with Brooklyn, N.Y. and Cleveland.
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