California's Population is Moving Out, Census Says

More people are moving out of the state than into the state, a new Census report shows.

By Olga Spilewsky and Conan Nolan
|  Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012  |  Updated 7:51 PM PDT
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More People Leave Calif. Than Come In: Census

A new Census Bureau report reveals that about 100,000 more people are leaving California than are coming to the state. Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist at the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation says, "we're moving in the right direction" when it comes to adding jobs in California. When that happens, he says the migration numbers will likely turn around. Conan Nolan reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on December 10, 2012.

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About 100,000 more people moved away from California in 2011 than relocated to the Golden State, according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The trend can be explained, in part, in monetary terms. Even in an economic boom, the cost of living in California has increased, prompting people to move out, and, in recent years, unemployment in the state has skyrocketed.

So, where are these former Californians going?

The Census Bureau calculates that the most popular destination is Texas (58,992), a state that is luring California companies. That’s followed by Arizona (49,635), Nevada (40,114), Washington (38,421) and Oregon (34,214).

Although in smaller numbers, people are still relocating to the Golden State.

Texans make up the largest number of translates to California with 37,387 people, according to the report. That is followed by people from Washington (36,481), Nevada (36,159), Arizona (35,650), and New York (25,269).

Economic experts are optimistic that California’s economy has started picking up steam, and may reverse the movement out of the state.

“We expect over the next couple of years that we will add jobs,” said Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. "This year, we’ve added jobs in California at a faster pace than in the nation as a whole. So, we are moving in right direction. As that happens, we’ll see the migration numbers turn around some."

A major facet of the state's economy, the agriculture industry has been affected by fewer undocumented immigrants crossing the border, deterred from coming to the U.S. because of high unemployment and a developing middle class in Mexico.

According to the Census Bureau, 468,428 people have moved to California from other states and 269,772 have moved to the state from other countries.

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