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Richard Rider

California’s net migration growth is anemic compared to more business friendly states

The Governing website cited below is a great source for stats not usually available.  Moreover, the format gives website visitors the ability to custom sort the stats to rank states (click on the column headings) — where illuminating facts can be gleaned.

For instance, recently in a comment section some clueless liberal bragged to me that the Democrat urban Democrat states are where people are moving to, abandoning the more free market, “right to work” Republican leaning states.  A quick check at this Governing website disproved this gonzo assertion — big-time.

The migration pattern is not universally consistent either way. For instance, bad weather states tend to lose folks (or grow very slowly) regardless of politics.  But that being said, it’s clear that on balance, people are migrating towards (relative) freedom.

For instance, let’s compare the recent migration patterns of my two perennial favorites — California and Texas. Governing uses the TOTAL migration figure — migration between states plus international migration.  The figure is the net migration per 1,000 population — a fair way to compare states.  This comparison is for fiscal years, showing the net migragtion per thousand residents.

STATE               2010-11                2011-12                2012-13             2013-14          2014-15

U.S. Average        2.9                           3.0                        3.1                     3.6                   3.6

California              2.8                           2.6                        2.7                     3.7                   2.7

Texas                    7.6                           8.7                        7.7                     9.8                  10.0

Note that both states — indeed MOST states — have a positive total annual migration, thanks to international migration (legal and illegal).  But the Texas migration rate is about TRIPLE the California migration rate. Pause and reflect on the weather difference — in spite of California’s huge weather advantage, Texas is kicking our butts.

And Texas is NOT the fastest net migration-growing state — it’s 7th.  In order (using last year’s migration figures), FL is best — followed by ND, NV, CO, SC and OR.  Close behind TX are WA and AZ.

This migration pattern should be considered when comparing unemployment rates.  Texas has had hundreds of thousands of economic refugees move into their state (a state now in an oil industry recession). Yet the Texas June, 2016 unemployment rate is 4.5%.  California, with low net new migration, is 5.4%.