So if Californians aren’t moving more than in previous years, why are so many places suddenly freaking out about the influx of Golden Staters?
The longtime residents of states chosen by Californians might be more anxious about change than they once were. Texas in particular is in the midst of a transformation from a ruby-red conservative stronghold to a more mixed state with blue metros and red rural areas. In this context, the next SoCal family that U-Hauls into North Texas isn’t just some nice couple with different taste in barbeque; instead, they’re potentially the demographic straw that breaks the GOP’s back.
And while California’s overall out-migration isn’t unprecedented, some states and counties are taking in an unprecedented share of newcomers from there. The number of Californians moving to Idaho, for instance, increased by 120 percent from 2012 to 2018. The number of Los Angeles residents moving to Dallas and Houston declined in those years, but the number of Angelenos moving to Plano, Texas, tripled.