Born in Texas, Stay in Texas? Texas Still Has Highest Retention of Natives, Is It the “New California?”

Born in Texas NYT GraphicStayed in Texas NYT Graph

Those smart folks at the New York Times have charted just how much people have moved from state to state since 1900. Why? Because people moving from one state to another bring a lot more than moving vans, kids and baggage — they bring influence and political views that may be polar opposite from native views.

“Foreign immigration is a hot topic these days, but the movement of people from one state to another can have an even bigger influence on the United States’ economy, politics and culture. Americans have already seen this with the Western expansion, the movement of Southern blacks to Northern cities and the migration from the Rust Belt.”

And guess what they found out about Texas? Fewer residents are natives. We have people coming in from all over, especially California. We love it because they are buying homes and spending money here. Traditionally, Texas has always retained a high percentage of it’s natives. In 2000, we had the highest retention rate of state residents in the country. There are still half a million Texans in California alone — my son is one of them.

Still, California clearly no longer has the pull it once had. Many residents are leaving the state, and the percentage of U.S. born transplants there has shrunk. I mean, I love the place but wouldn’t want to live there, or rather, own property there. Would you?

Today, the state is still pulling in foreign immigrants, but the percentage of American-born transplants has shrunk significantly as fewer people move into the state. In 1960, half of California residents were born in another U.S. state. Today, that’s down to 18 percent.

Californians are moving into nearly every state. Could Texas Be the “New California?”

Through 1990 California led the nation in retaining its native-born population. (Here’s much more detail about California’s exodus.) There are now about 6.8 million California natives living elsewhere, up from 2.7 million in 1980.


Do check out this article, if only for the cool tools: you can toggle back and forth from the migration to states and the diaspora from them.