More people are leaving California than moving in — so where is everybody going?

About 6 million people moved out of California from 2007 to 2016, a new report has found.
About 6 million people moved out of California from 2007 to 2016, a new report has found. TNS

From 2007 to 2016, California’s population got smaller, older and wealthier, according to a new state report.

Using tax filing data from the Internal Revenue Service, the state found that in that time span, approximately 6 million people moved out of California, compared to the approximately 5 million who chose to make the Golden State their home. The state’s analysis then further broke down the “out-migration” and “in-migration” by state and further by age, income and education level.

So where is everybody going?

By far, the biggest beneficiary of the California exodus was Texas, which gained nearly 300,000 Californians from 2007 to 2016. Nearby states Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington rounded out the top five.

Those moving out of California were typically younger (25 and younger, or 36 to 45), less educated (high school diploma or some college), and poorer ($15-30,000 or $40-55,000 in annual income).

“Families with kids and those with only a high school education predominate among those moving from California to its top destination states (Texas, Arizona, and Nevada),” the report found.

By contrast, those moving into the state most frequently were older than 65 (though certain states provided large numbers of 18- to 35-year-olds), well-educated (graduate degree or higher) and wealthier ($110,000 a year or more).

“College-educated 18- to 35-year-olds led the way among those moving to California from its top feeder states (New York, Illinois and New Jersey),” the report said.

Despite the population deficit, California remains the most populous state in the union, and the loss recorded “is low in historical terms.”

So California is losing people, but not as many people as it used to lose.

“Net out-migration from 1990 to 2006 was, on average, more than double what it was in the most recent 10 years,” the report found.

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