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Wisconsin's net gain of one-way U-Haul truck rentals highlights Milwaukee's recent growth and its efforts to re-brand itself to potential in-movers.

Recently, Milwaukee has been making efforts to expand the city’s reputation outside of its beer and brats image, and convince outsiders that Cream City is a great place to live. Some of these efforts may be paying off, as downtown has recently experienced an influx of residents. However, downtown Milwaukee’s surge of in-movers isn’t the only growth taking place in our state.

Wisconsin as a whole ranks No. 4 among the U-Haul Top 10 U.S. Growth States, according to the latest U-Haul migration trends report. Growth States are determined based on the net gain of one-way U-Haul truck rental customers entering the state as opposed to leaving during a calendar year. Migration trends don’t directly correlate with population growth, but U-Haul growth data does point to how effectively cities are attracting and keeping residents.

In 2016, arrivals accounted for 50.6 percent of U-Haul traffic in Wisconsin, which can largely be attributed to Madison, the No. 1 U-Haul U.S. Growth City for locations with a population of more than 50,000, as well as Milwaukee, Hudson and Eau Claire.

“Milwaukee is doing very well right now,” said Mike Schneider, U-Haul Company of South Eastern Wisconsin president. “Urban growth is strong. New condos are going up downtown. People are moving in from all over.”

According to MMAC, a recent U. S. Census Bureau report showed that young adults (age 18-34) accounted for 54 percent of all Milwaukee in-movers between 2010 and 2012. In addition, 55 percent of Milwaukee’s downtown population falls in the Millennial age group, and 56 percent of downtown’s population over age 25 has a bachelor’s degree or higher. This may be the reason a number of companies – such as Bader Rutter, Dohmen Co., Plunkett Raysich Architects and REV Group – have moved Downtown.

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Such stats bode well for Milwaukee as the city strives to reinvent itself to the outside world, draw in business leaders and creative thinkers, and increase economic growth and urban development.

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