California migration is awfully like fashion: What states are hot — and which ones are not — is often in flux.
Fresh Census state-to-state migration stats for 2017 show California, on a per-capita basis, continues to struggle to attract other Americans. The nations most-populous state, at the same time, has a proportionally modest outflow of residents. But this popularity measurement, for good and bad, is by no means uniform across the nation.
When I filled my trusty spreadsheet with 2017 data and average migration habits for the previous seven years some intriguing patterns emerged. Take Virginia, for example. It may be for lovers, as its old marketing lingo suggested, and it soon will be home to a new headquarters for retail giant Amazon.
But its also a hot spot for folks who want to be Californians.
Comparing 2017 migration with 2010-16 trends, California had 3,454 fewer departures to Virginia and 6,073 more arrivals. That adds up to a 9,526 net migration improvement, the largest among the states. By the way, Virginia in 17 was the No. 13 destination for departing Californians, and the No. 9 source for new residents.
California also picked up ground in Illinois, which has long suffered outmigration woes. There was a 6,138 net improvement for California, second-largest: 120 fewer departures to Illinois and 6,017 more arrivals. Illinois in 17 was the No. 12 destination and the No. 4 source for new Californians.
The next three states that California made progress on, migration-wise, might be a bit of a surprise.
No. 3 was Colorado, a 4,628 net improvement — thats 1,924 more departures but 6,552 more arrivals. Fast-growing Colorado was the No. 7 destination and the No. 6 former home state.
No. 4 was economic arch-rival Texas, with a 4,579 net improvement for California. Thats 1,976 fewer moves to Texas and 2,602 more arrivals. Texas — the second-most populous state — was No. 1 for both exits and arrivals.
And fifth was Wisconsin, a 4,249 net improvement — thats 991 fewer departures and 3,258 more arrivals. Wisconsin — with one of the nations most-educated populations — was the No. 33 destination for exiting Golden Staters and the No. 21 source for new Californians.
Of course, other states created noteworthy challenges for California. And that stiff competition is decidedly Western.
Arizona topped the list of folks outhustling California for residents. The Golden State was hit with a 15,419 net migration decline to this eastern neighbor. There were 6,877 more departures to Arizona than the average and 8,543 fewer arrivals. Proximity still matters, though, as Arizona last year was the No. 2 destination but also the No. 5 source for new Californians.
To the north, Oregon was No. 2 with a 14,059 net decline for California: 14,219 more departures far outpacing the 160 extra arrivals. Oregon in 17 was the No. 4 destination and the No. 10 source for arrivals.
Further north was No. 3 Washington, with a 10,050 net decline for California: thats 9,939 more departures and 111 fewer arrivals. Washington in 17 was both the No. 3 state for exits and arrivals.
And then theres tiny Idaho at No. 4, with a relatively stunning 9,362 net decline for California: departures up 9,448 vs. 86 more arrivals. Note that Idaho in 17 was the No. 10 state Californians moved to but just the 27th largest source for newcomers.
Then comes Florida, the third-most populous state. California suffered a net decline of 6,525 residents to the Sunshine State: 7,419 more departures vs. 893 more arrivals. Florida in 17 was the No. 6 destination and the No. 7 source for new Californians.
Check out this map with all the state-by-state migration details for 2017 …
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