April 4, 2013

Everybody Isn't Moving to Texas... Kinda

I've gotten the impression that some people think that half of the people in California are in the process of packing up their lives in order to move over to Texas.   I'm not sure if this is really a wide spread notion or if its just something a few people think.   I can understand the concept that people would be compelled to move from high cost, high tax California over to lower cost, lower tax and relatively booming economy of Texas.   (Setting other preferences aside).  

(click image for full size)
But the fact of the matter is that there isn't really any kind of significant rush of people in a reverse Joad phenomenon flowing out of California to Texas.

People ARE indeed moving out of California every year and more people move from California to other states than move from other states to California.    Many people are moving into Texas and in fact Texas was the state with the highest number of people who moved there from other states with 514,726 new arrivals from other states in 2011.   However those 514,726 new arrivals from other states account for only 2% of the population in Texas.   Oh, and by the way California is the #3 destination after Florida with 468,428 people moving there from other states.   But wait while you do have a lot of people moving into TX, CA and FL you also at the same time have a lot of people simultaneously moving out of each state.   The real question is what is the total net migration to a state from other states?

First lets look at the state to state movements for 2011.
I got the  State to state migration flows from the Census which shows the number of people that moved from each state to each state for a year.

Here is the break down of the percentage of each states current population that moved in from another state versus moved out and the net change of state to state migration for 2011:


IN OUT NET
Alabama 2.5% 2.3% 0.2%
Alaska 4.9% 12.5% -7.6%
Arizona 3.5% 3.3% 0.2%
Arkansas 2.4% 2.7% -0.3%
California 1.3% 1.5% -0.3%
Colorado 4.0% 3.2% 0.8%
Connecticut 2.0% 2.6% -0.6%
Delaware 3.8% 3.0% 0.8%
D.C. 7.9% 8.1% -0.3%
Florida 2.6% 2.3% 0.3%
Georgia 2.8% 2.6% 0.2%
Hawaii 4.2% 4.6% -0.3%
Idaho 3.9% 3.7% 0.2%
Illinois 1.7% 2.1% -0.4%
Indiana 2.0% 2.2% -0.2%
Iowa 2.3% 2.5% -0.1%
Kansas 3.0% 3.3% -0.4%
Kentucky 2.5% 2.3% 0.2%
Louisiana 2.2% 1.9% 0.3%
Maine 2.6% 2.6% 0.0%
Maryland 2.7% 2.9% -0.2%
Massachusetts 2.1% 2.2% -0.1%
Michigan 1.4% 1.9% -0.5%
Minnesota 1.9% 2.0% 0.0%
Mississippi 2.3% 2.3% 0.0%
Missouri 2.5% 2.3% 0.2%
Montana 3.4% 3.2% 0.2%
Nebraska 2.9% 2.9% 0.0%
Nevada 4.1% 4.3% -0.2%
New Hampshire 2.8% 3.3% -0.5%
New Jersey 1.6% 2.5% -0.9%
New Mexico 3.0% 3.0% 0.0%
New York 1.5% 2.0% -0.5%
North Carolina 2.8% 2.4% 0.4%
North Dakota 4.8% 3.9% 0.9%
Ohio 1.7% 1.8% -0.1%
Oklahoma 2.9% 2.2% 0.7%
Oregon 3.3% 2.9% 0.5%
Pennsylvania 1.9% 1.7% 0.2%
Rhode Island 2.6% 3.0% -0.4%
South Carolina 3.4% 2.6% 0.8%
South Dakota 3.4% 3.6% -0.2%
Tennessee 2.7% 2.4% 0.3%
Texas 2.0% 1.6% 0.4%
Utah 3.1% 2.6% 0.4%
Vermont 3.3% 2.9% 0.4%
Virginia 3.2% 2.9% 0.3%
Washington 3.1% 2.8% 0.3%
West Virginia 2.7% 2.5% 0.2%
Wisconsin 1.9% 1.9% 0.1%
Wyoming 5.5% 5.7% -0.2%



I'll sort those and rank them in terms of highest to lowest net flows.  Positive net numbers mean that more people moved in and negative numbers mean the state lost people. :



NET
North Dakota 0.9%
Colorado 0.8%
Delaware 0.8%
South Carolina 0.8%
Oklahoma 0.7%
Oregon 0.5%
Texas 0.4%
Utah 0.4%
North Carolina 0.4%
Vermont 0.4%
Virginia 0.3%
Florida 0.3%
Louisiana 0.3%
Washington 0.3%
Tennessee 0.3%
Kentucky 0.2%
Montana 0.2%
Alabama 0.2%
Georgia 0.2%
West Virginia 0.2%
Missouri 0.2%
Arizona 0.2%
Idaho 0.2%
Pennsylvania 0.2%
Wisconsin 0.1%
New Mexico 0.0%
Maine 0.0%
Mississippi 0.0%
Nebraska 0.0%
Minnesota 0.0%
Massachusetts -0.1%
Ohio -0.1%
Iowa -0.1%
Maryland -0.2%
Nevada -0.2%
South Dakota -0.2%
Indiana -0.2%
Wyoming -0.2%
California -0.3%
Arkansas -0.3%
D.C. -0.3%
Hawaii -0.3%
Kansas -0.4%
Rhode Island -0.4%
Illinois -0.4%
New Hampshire -0.5%
Michigan -0.5%
New York -0.5%
Connecticut -0.6%
New Jersey -0.9%
Alaska -7.6%

Relative to their large populations the +0.4% inflow into Texas and the -0.3% outflow from California aren't what I'd call any kind of 'exodus' either direction.    Many other states see much larger percentage migrations in or out.

You might have heard about the boom in North Dakota due to the growing oil industry there.  I would guess that accounts for N.D. being #1 on the list with the highest % population growth due to influx from other states.   Look at that whopping 7.6% net outflow from Alaska to other states.   Now thats what I'd call an 'exodus'.   Poor Alaska... nobody wants to live in the cold.

Granted those are just percentages and so a few people entering a small state like N.D. shows higher than a lot of people moving to a large state like Texas.   Looking at it as far as total numbers for state to state net migration and heres the rankings :



NET
Texas 109,887
Florida 61,395
Colorado 41,501
North Carolina 40,144
South Carolina 36,218
Virginia 27,903
Oklahoma 27,869
Georgia 22,185
Pennsylvania 19,164
Oregon 18,111
Washington 17,863
Tennessee 16,726
Louisiana 12,545
Utah 12,006
Arizona 11,061
Missouri 11,035
Alabama 10,920
Kentucky 10,775
Delaware 7,281
North Dakota 5,947
West Virginia 4,112
Wisconsin 4,069
Idaho 2,505
Montana 2,349
Vermont 2,291
New Mexico 699
Maine 89
Mississippi -86
Nebraska -739
Wyoming -1,340
D.C. -1,666
South Dakota -1,877
Minnesota -2,224
Iowa -4,111
Rhode Island -4,296
Hawaii -4,398
Nevada -5,598
Massachusetts -6,039
New Hampshire -6,277
Arkansas -7,381
Kansas -10,540
Maryland -11,062
Ohio -14,271
Indiana -15,354
Connecticut -19,793
Michigan -47,347
Illinois -52,804
Alaska -53,766
New Jersey -76,175
California -93,915
New York -95,591

Looking at it that way we do see that Texas gained the most people of any state and California lost the 2nd most.

What about foreign migration?

All the numbers above are just state to state migration.   At the same time we also have people moving into and out of each state from or to foreign countries.  If you consider foreign migration it changes the picture considerably.

Lets look at the change in population if we include the foreign immigration.



Net including foreign
Texas 283,215
Florida 206,069
California 171,696
Virginia 86,608
North Carolina 82,091
Colorado 76,012
Washington 71,391
Pennsylvania 68,829
Georgia 63,483
South Carolina 54,014
Arizona 53,630
Massachusetts 49,272
New York 48,684
Oklahoma 43,998
Oregon 40,913
Tennessee 40,547
Missouri 34,475
Maryland 30,787
Louisiana 27,802
Utah 26,471
Alabama 25,168
Kentucky 24,876
Minnesota 22,349
Ohio 20,755
Wisconsin 18,942
Illinois 16,550
New Mexico 12,132
Hawaii 11,839
Delaware 10,978
Iowa 9,234
North Dakota 8,779
Idaho 8,559
West Virginia 8,049
Nevada 7,128
Mississippi 7,049
Nebraska 5,846
Indiana 5,833
D.C. 5,698
Vermont 5,140
Montana 5,055
Maine 4,573
Kansas 3,561
Rhode Island 2,940
South Dakota 1,701
Arkansas 1,254
Wyoming -58
New Hampshire -964
Connecticut -1,112
Michigan -5,001
New Jersey -19,843
Alaska -50,069

Interesting California jumps all the way from 2nd to last up to 3rd.   Again, poor Alaska is rock bottom as apparently not even hardy foreigners want to move to the frigid North.   One point of interest is that if you include the foreign migration all but 6 states have positive numbers. 

The above numbers are all just for the year 2011 so that is just a one year trend.   Another way to look at things is to measure the percentage of a states population which is born in other states or foreign born.   That gives us an idea of how many people have moved into the state in question  (and stayed) over the long term.

For this data I pulled up some custom tables from the American Community Survey
Here is a table showing the percent of the people in each state that were born in another state in the U.S. or were foreign born:


Born in other state Foreign born
United States 27% 13%
Alabama 26% 3%
Alaska 51% 7%
Arizona 47% 13%
Arkansas 34% 4%
California 17% 27%
Colorado 47% 10%
Connecticut 27% 13%
Delaware 44% 8%
D.C. 47% 14%
Florida 42% 19%
Georgia 33% 10%
Hawaii 25% 18%
Idaho 46% 6%
Illinois 18% 14%
Indiana 26% 5%
Iowa 23% 4%
Kansas 33% 7%
Kentucky 26% 3%
Louisiana 18% 4%
Maine 31% 3%
Maryland 37% 14%
Massachusetts 20% 15%
Michigan 17% 6%
Minnesota 24% 7%
Mississippi 26% 2%
Missouri 29% 4%
Montana 42% 2%
Nebraska 27% 6%
Nevada 54% 19%
New Hampshire 51% 6%
New Jersey 24% 21%
New Mexico 37% 10%
New York 12% 22%
North Carolina 34% 7%
North Dakota 29% 2%
Ohio 20% 4%
Oklahoma 32% 6%
Oregon 43% 10%
Pennsylvania 19% 6%
Rhode Island 26% 13%
South Carolina 35% 5%
South Dakota 32% 3%
Tennessee 33% 5%
Texas 22% 16%
Utah 29% 8%
Vermont 44% 4%
Virginia 37% 11%
Washington 38% 13%
West Virginia 27% 1%
Wisconsin 23% 5%
Wyoming 55% 3%

Now as you can see theres pretty wide variations there.

For the two people who managed to get through this whole article, if you're still interested in reading more on the topic you might also find these interesting :

Lifetime Mobility in the United States : 2010 which is the source for the graphic image that is in the insert above.  

Magnet or Sticky?: A State-by-State Typology  from the Pew Research Center which looks at figures for 2005-2007.


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7 comments:

  1. Despite my (justified) complaints, and family and friends in both Austin AND Dallas, I'm still in the Bay Area. California has a lot going for it - and even if it didn't, the weather can overcome a lot. It's short sleeve weather this week.

    Any idea on the demographics of the in/outflows? Would be interesting to see the types of immigration into and out of the state. Millionaires leaving balanced out by job seekers? Etc, etc.

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  2. Any clues why Alaska had such an outflow? Maybe the people who tend to work in Alaska, are the same people that tend to work in the booming industries in North Dakota?

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  3. PK,

    I remember some shortlived sitcom that was set in California and they were discussing why anyone would live in California given the high costs etc. The buy pointed out that it was sunny and 72 degrees and it was mid January. (or something like that). Yeah, personally I think the weather in California is a huge reason people live there.

    I remember seeing an article that was talking about the middle class leaving CA. High costs are much easier to bear in CA if your'e a millionare than if you make $50k. So its actually the middle class leaving more often. If I was stinking rich I might be more inclined to move *to* CA for the nice weather. But if I was making a median income there and couldn't afford a house I'd be more inclined to leave.


    SteveD,

    Yeah I wondered about that. I could only speculate. Some of those Alaskans may be moving to N.D. to work on oil rigs.
    I think employment is the #1 thing impacting Alaska immigration/emigration. If you look at that link to the Magnet or Sticky article they also have an interactive thing that says what % of people are born in a state and stay there. Only 28% of the Alaskans are born there and still living there and 70% of the population was born in another state. Most of the people there likely moved there for jobs, so if those jobs go away they likely move away.

    Jim

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  4. I bet there is also a lot of military personnel stationed in Alaska (at least as a % of the population). So I imagine that the armed forces moving around a bit year to year would impact Alaska.

    Jim

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  5. I have to give Florida a bit of a plug here - for all the talk about California weather, at least in Florida you can swim in the ocean in July without your lips turning blue. Yay for the Atlantic being much warmer than the Pacific!
    Plus, I definitely think it's also worth noting that the two states with the highest net inflows population wise (Texas and Florida) have VERY favorable tax treatments for residents. No income taxes, and (in FL at least) generous homestead exemptions on property taxes for full time residents. I'll put my tax bill and weather up against PK's for a comparison. =)

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  6. Here's a plug for Oklahoma... all the shale gas activity going on has got to count for something.

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  7. Mrs Pop. Sorry but I'd take LA's weather over FLoridas. FL's humidity is a bit too high.

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