California Losing Residents Via Domestic Migration

For many years, more people have been leaving California for other states than have been moving here. According to data from the American Community Survey, from 2007 to 2016, about 5 million people moved to California from other states, while about 6 million left California. On net, the state lost 1 million residents to domestic migration—about 2.5 percent of its total population. These population losses are low in historical terms. The graph below shows data from the Internal Revenue Service on the movement of income tax filers in and out of California since 1990. (Data on tax filers does not cover the entire population because some people do not earn enough income to necessitate filing taxes.) As the graph shows, net out-migration from 1990 to 2006 was, on average, more than double what is was in the most recent ten years.

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