Here are the top cities where U-Haul says people are packing up and moving

Houston, Texas
Howard Kingsnorth | Getty Images
Houston, Texas

It's moving season, and new data shows which U.S. cities are top destinations for people looking to start anew.

Residents flocked to Houston and Chicago, according to moving company U-Haul, which took the top two spots on its 2016 ranking. The 50 cities ranked by U-Haul spanned every region across the U.S., including warmer climes in the South, the coastal pillars Manhattan and Los Angeles, and tourist hotspots like Las Vegas and Orlando.

Houston "is growing by leaps and bounds," the report said, citing the city's booming jobs market and active construction that's reshaping its skyline. The Texas city is also a beneficiary of the shale boom, which is thriving as the U.S. churns out oil and gas at historical levels.

U-Haul's migration report is based on the number of truck rentals bound for each city, noting that it doesn't effectively track do-it-yourself moves. Each top-ranked city's noted similar draws: business growth, affordable housing, and lively social and cultural scenes.

Major factors for a big move might include a better job, retirement, more family or a new home, the report said. Below are the top 10 cities, including their rank from 2015.

Top cities included Charlotte, NC at number 10, which moved up 4 spots from its prior ranking; and Kansas City, Philadelphia and Brooklyn, NY — all of which remained stable at the number 9, 8 and 7 positions, respectively.

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Often viewed as an American "underdog," the City of Brotherly Love is on the upswing, with more businesses creating jobs and new residents attracted to the cultural and food offerings. Further north, Brooklyn — quickly becoming one of the most expensive places in the U.S. to live — offers a "homier" environment than Manhattan, and all the offerings most residents need.

Separately, Orlando, FL dipped a notch, from number 4 to 3. The city boasts a diverse population and variety of public and private capital investments that are driving job growth.

Below is the complete ranking of each city:

U-Haul Top 50 U.S. Destination Cities for 2016

(2015 ranking in parentheses)

  1. HOUSTON, TX (1)
  2. CHICAGO, IL (2)
  3. SAN ANTONIO, TX (5)
  4. ORLANDO, FL (3)
  5. AUSTIN, TX (4)
  6. LAS VEGAS, NV (6)
  7. BROOKLYN, NY (7)
  9. KANSAS CITY, MO (9)
  10. CHARLOTTE, NC (14)
  11. COLUMBUS, OH (15)
  12. PHOENIX, AZ (10)
  13. SAN DIEGO, CA (13)
  15. TAMPA, FL (16)
  16. SACRAMENTO, CA (11)
  17. DALLAS, TX (17)
  18. TUCSON, AZ (20)
  20. ATLANTA, GA (23)
  21. ST. LOUIS, MO (21)
  22. LOS ANGELES, CA (22)
  23. BRONX, NY (19)
  24. FORT WORTH, TX (24)
  25. MIAMI, FL (25)
  26. PORTLAND, OR (29)
  27. SAN FRANCISCO, CA (30)
  29. NASHVILLE, TN (33)
  30. WASHINGTON, D.C. (26)
  31. DENVER, CO (40)
  32. BALTIMORE, MD (27)
  33. CINCINNATI, OH (32)
  34. PLANO, TX (34)
  35. RICHMOND, VA (42)
  36. KNOXVILLE, TN (35)
  37. OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (44)
  38. RALEIGH, NC (38)
  39. SAN JOSE, CA (43)
  40. MANHATTAN, NY (37)
  41. RENO, NV (36)
  42. LOUISVILLE, KY (39)
  43. MADISON, WI (45)
  44. SEATTLE, WA (41)
  45. TACOMA, WA (47)
  46. COLUMBIA, SC (28)
  48. MEMPHIS, TN (NR)
  49. BAKERSFIELD, CA (50)
  50. DURHAM, NC (NR)