475,803 moved to California last year. Which states did they come from?

California added 475,803 residents from other states in 2022.

Only two states had a larger inflow, according to Census Bureau data: Florida with 738,969 and Texas with 668,338.

So where did new Californians come from in 2022, a population intake roughly the size of Long Beach or Oakland? And how did that flow change over the year?

Location. Location. Location.

California’s No. 1 draw is Texas. The Lone Star State lost 42,279 residents to the Golden State last year. Then came Washington (31,866), New York (31,255), Florida (28,557), and Arizona (27,412).

At the other end of the relocation spectrum, West Virginia lost only 42 residents to California, yes, 42. Then came North Dakota (291), South Dakota (572), New Hampshire (624) and Mississippi (880).

In between these extremes of inbound migration, there were 312,025 fresh faces to the Golden State that came from 39 states and the District of Columbia.

Or you can look at relocations to California as a share of a state’s population.

By this measure, Hawaii was No. 1 with its moves to the Golden State equal to 75 exits per 10,000 Hawaiians. Next was Nevada (71), the District of Columbia (67), Oregon (57) and Washington (41).

A California relocation was rarest from West Virginia (0.2 per 10,000), then Mississippi and Arkansas (3).

And California’s top competitors? Texas had 14 exits to California per 10,000 and Florida had 13.

The swings

Where did California’s attractiveness do best last year, as measured by the increase of new residents from the states?

Moves from Texas grew 8,702 from 2021, then came Nevada (7,357), Utah (7,038), New Jersey (4,099) and Florida (3,865).

California’s attraction shrank in Washington state by 8,590 relocations last year, then Wisconsin (off 2,048), Oklahoma (off 1,929), Arkansas (off 1,613) and South Dakota (off 1,520).

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On a percentage basis, California’s draw grew the most from Maine (up 279% vs. 2021), Utah (up 115%) and Idaho (up 99%).

California inflows fell the most in West Virginia (94%), North Dakota (75%), and South Dakota (73%). Texas was down 26% and Florida was off 16%.

Bottom line

Yes, California lost 817,669 residents last year (largest of the states) – for a net outmigration of 341,866 (also No. 1).

But the population problem is really that California clearly stinks at luring new residents. Look at Golden State arrivals compared with its huge population – 1.2%, the worst attraction rate among the states.

Next on this unattractiveness ranking is New York (1.5%), Michigan (1.6%), and Louisiana and Ohio (1.7%).

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Best for attraction, by this math was the District of Columbia, with new residents at 9.8% of its population. Alaska and Wyoming were 5%, while  Idaho and Delaware were 4.6%.

By the way, Texas ranked No. 40 for attraction at 2.3% while Florida was No. 19 at 3.4%.

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