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    841,065 left California. Where will you find them?
    • July 7, 2023

    “Numerology” tries to find reality within various measurements of economic and real estate trends.

    Buzz: Where did 841,065 ex-Californians go in 2021? That’s an outflow larger than the number of people living in Wyoming or Vermont or Alaska or North Dakota or the District of Columbia.

    Source: My trusty spreadsheet looked at the latest state-to-state migration data from the Census Bureau to see where that flock might have the biggest clout within their new home state.

    Fuzzy math: What might be the potential influence of all these ex-Californians?


    Let’s start with the raw number of relocations.

    The top destination was Texas, with 107,546 moving from California to the Lone Star State in 2021. Next was Arizona at 69,432, Nevada at 62,437, Washington at 57,576, Oregon at 51,623, Florida at 37,464, Colorado at 33,648, New York at 31,335, Georgia at 28,908, Idaho at 27,193, and Utah at 23,219.

    Note: Seven of those 10 states are west of the Mississippi.

    Conversely, Delaware got the fewest ex-Californians, with just 116. Then came West Virginia at 368, Vermont at 1,043, North Dakota at 1,525 and South Dakota at 1,670.


    Let’s compare those big relocations to state populations. We are translating migration patterns into the odds that you’d bump into an ex-Californian, class of 2021.

    There’s a 50-to-1 chance that a resident of Nevada moved there from California in 2021. Yes, 62,437 California transplants vs. a state population of 3.11 million add up to one of every 50 Nevadans. No state had a greater inflow of Californians.

    Next on my scorecard of ex-California influence was Idaho at 69-to-1, then Oregon at 82-to-1, Hawaii at 89-to-1, and Arizona at 104-to-1.

    Or look at California’s main economic rivals. There’s 271-to-1 odds a Texan is a former Californian, Class of 2021. That’s the 15th highest. In Florida, it’s 576-to-1, No. 34.

    And where’s it hardest to find this group of ex-Californians?

    Tops? Delaware at 8,575-to-1 odds, then West Virginia at 4,804-to-1, Kentucky at 1,716-to-1, Alabama at 1,481-to-1, and Louisiana at 1,333-to-1.

    Bottom line

    When Californians leave, they often don’t leave the West.

    Ponder the California outflow as its share of a state’s overall inflow from elsewhere in the nation.

    Again, Nevada tops these rankings with California accounting for 47% of its 132,648 interstate arrivals. Next came Oregon at 39%, Idaho at 28%, and Arizona and Washington state at 26%.

    Rivals? Texas was No. 8 at 18.2% and Florida, No. 38 at 5.6%.

    Jonathan Lansner is business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at [email protected]

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    ​ Orange County Register