Louisiana is shrinking at a faster rate than more than 40 other states, according to a new report out today.

U-Haul, the rental company that specializes in moving vans and trailers, released its annual report on which states have the most people making one-way rentals, and the Bayou State is near the very bottom.

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Only Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, and California are losing people at a higher rate. California has shrunk much more than any other state in the nation.

Texas, meanwhile, is one of the fastest-growing, followed closely by Florida. The numbers are based on the rate of one-way rentals leaving the states and where they end up.

exas netted the largest number of movers in one-way U-Haul® equipment in 2023, marking the third consecutive year it has finished atop the U-Haul Growth Index.

Florida ranks right behind Texas among growth states for the third year in a row, followed by North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Idaho, Washington, Arizona, Colorado and Virginia round out the top 10 states for growth.

For the fourth year in a row, California reflected the largest net loss of one-way movers. Other bottom-five states for growth are Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois and Massachusetts. New York ranks 43rd.

Facebook, U-Haul
Facebook, U-Haul

Louisiana, which is sitting at 45 on the list, fell ten spots from last year. It was one of the steepest drops in the country.

Why Are People Leaving Louisiana?

Several factors contribute to the trend of people leaving Louisiana at a higher rate than many other states. Economic challenges play a significant role, with limited employment opportunities and lower wages compared to the national average. The state has historically struggled with high poverty rates and limited economic diversification, leading many residents to seek better job prospects elsewhere.

Natural disasters, particularly hurricanes, have also been a significant factor. Louisiana is prone to hurricanes and flooding, and the devastation caused by events like Hurricane Katrina in 2005 had long-lasting effects on the population. The aftermath of such disasters, coupled with concerns about future vulnerabilities, prompts some individuals and families to relocate to more stable regions.

Educational opportunities and healthcare are additional considerations. Louisiana faces challenges in its education system, and the quality of healthcare services may not meet the expectations of some residents. Families, in particular, may prioritize moving to states with better educational facilities and healthcare infrastructure for the well-being of their children.

Political and social factors may also contribute. Some individuals may feel dissatisfied with the state's political climate, policies, or social issues, influencing their decision to seek a more aligned environment elsewhere.

The combination of economic, environmental, educational, healthcare, and socio-political factors creates a complex landscape, encouraging migration out of Louisiana. While the state has unique cultural richness and history, the challenges residents face prompt a notable trend of people seeking opportunities and a better quality of life in other regions. Addressing these challenges could play a crucial role in retaining and attracting residents to Louisiana in the future.

Where Are They Going?

Texas is one of the top relocation spots for Louisiana residents. It's right next door, and there are a lot of opportunities for those leaving Louisiana, both in terms of economic opportunity and educational opportunity.

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Martin Holverda

About 10 years ago, Louisiana's population loss led to the state losing a congressional seat. There are worries among some that Louisiana could be at risk of losing another if the out-migration continues.

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The History Behind Lafayette's Street Names

We drive them on a daily basis. Some are smoother than others. Some we use more frequently than others. Some randomly start, end, and/or change names. They're the streets of Lafayette. The names behind many of these streets have interesting histories. We take a look at where those names come from and the impact their namesakes have had on the city and the parish.

Gallery Credit: Joe Cunningham