Data from the Census Bureau on state-to-state migration flows shows that California gained 42,279 Texas residents in 2022. In California, no other state had a larger number of residents moving in, revealing that Texans may have a sweet spot for the West Coast. Other states came close, however. Washington and New York both lost more than 31,000 residents to California.
But the arrival of Texans in California brings less baggage than Californians heading this way. In recent years, Texas residents have felt like Californians choosing their neighborhoods has created a higher cost of living. For some, it’s resulted in being priced out, causing resentment to stew.
Texans, meanwhile, need a high-wage job to make ends meet upon a move to California.
Abby Raisz, a senior research manager with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, talked to CBS News about California losing more residents than it has gained lately.
“What is that being caused by? Well, we have one of the worst affordability crises in the country and a lot of young people making less than $100,000 simply can’t afford big cities in the Bay Area or big cities in Southern California,” Raisz told CBS.
And most Texans aren’t earning six figures. Looking at the average salary by state, Forbes found that Texans are earning less than the average salary of those nationwide. The average annual salary in the U.S. in 2023 stands at $59,428. In Texas, it’s $57,300. California residents have one of the highest average salaries in the country, with Forbes reporting their mean earnings at $73,220.
So to make a move to California possible, Texans often require a handsome salary. One family CBS talked to made the move from the Dallas-area to the Bay Area after a family member got a job at a tech company in San Jose.
They’re not the only techie longing to live on land along the Pacific. An August report from Insider found that tech workers are especially tired of Texas and think career opportunities are better in Silicon Valley. One founder and investor even said, “Austin is where ambition goes to die.”
Still, Austin, Houston and other Texas cities have been busy welcoming new residents, especially Californians. The census data showed that while tens of thousands of Texans are moving to California, the number of Californians moving to Texas in the same time period stood at more than 102,000 people.