Welcome to the boomtown

These days, Austin and San Francisco each have somewhere around 800,000 people, though the entire Bay Area is far more populous than the Texas Hill Country.

I wouldn’t count on this being a permanent condition, though:

When comparing California with Texas, U-Haul says it all. To rent a 26-foot truck one way from San Francisco to Austin, the charge is $3,236, and yet the one-way charge for that same truck from Austin to San Francisco is just $399. Clearly what is happening is that far more people want to move from San Francisco to Austin than vice versa, so U-Haul has to pay its own employees to drive the empty trucks back from Texas.

On that basis, if you’re going to Detroit they should probably just give you a truck.


  1. Tatyana »

    7 May 2009 · 7:48 am

    …and pay you a minimum living for at least 5 years…

  2. CT »

    7 May 2009 · 10:51 am

    The U-Haul Migratory Index came up four years ago in Freakonomics land, among others. Something about this bugs me; seems too causal. Off the top of my head, the large number of universities in/near Austin probably affects the flow there — maybe there’s a particular Cali-to-Texas student pipeline?

  3. Lisa paul »

    7 May 2009 · 11:33 am

    Please Austin, take all the carpetbaggers who came here to get rich in the tech boom, added nothing to the community and now want to leave. Take ’em, we don’t want them.

    A San Franciscan.

  4. Old Grouch »

    7 May 2009 · 6:09 pm

    Texas ought to start charging admission. In the name of “preserving the environment.”

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