Stuck on Texas

The Pew Center (always a great source for information) through its  has just released its analysis of internal immigration in the U.S. Their analysis indicates that people born in Texas stay in their home state more than any other state in the union. States where a high percentage of who were born there live there now are termed “sticky.” States where a high percentage of residents came from other states are termed “magnetsSticky and Magnetic states.”

The Pew Center’s analysis shows that 75.8% of those of us born in Texas are still in Texas.  That makes Texas the “stickiest” state in the United States. Some of that stickiness may the product of our size. You have to move pretty far to get out of this state.

As it turns out, we’re less magnetic than sticky. Only 33.4% of current Texans are from other states. That ranks us 34th among the states. However, PEW conceded that this percentage is low in part because migrants from other states are offset by the large numbers of Texans staying put.

Their research notes that Texas’ “net migration” (the number that moved in minus the number that moved out) in 2005-2007 was about 1.8% of the population. That rates us about 11th of the states. However, that underestimates the degree of change. If you count the total number of people coming and going to and from Texas it totals to about 12.3% of the state’s population. Also, this study only examines only internal migration and doesn’t include people from other countries.

By the way, a related study from Pew showed that about 405 of Americans live in the community that they were born in and 57% have never lived outside their home state. It seems that a few Americans do a lot of the moving with 15% of Americans having lived in four or more states. (State-level data is not available in that report.)

It’s a safe bet that while Texas continually changes, new Texans are moving next to native-born who may never move outside the town they were born in. This is especially evident here at SFA where many of our students come from families that have lived in the area for generations. Many have not even traveled very far and may not have even vacationed much beyond Dallas/Fort Worth.

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