Op-Ed: Are Californians fleeing en masse to Texas? The reality is complicated
Editor’s note: This is an excerpt of a longer article titled “‘I’m not from the Lone Star State’: Not sure we really know who we are.”
Californians are flocking to Texas
It’s a truth that Texas has seen for years: Its growth has grown ever since Texans voted for the state’s secession in the wake of the Civil War. As the state of San Diego grew alongside it over the last half-century, so did the number of Texans living in California.
That is, until recently.
Today, nearly 20 percent of Texas’ population lives in California, and the number is still growing — nearly half a million people over just six years.
Meanwhile, the rest of us in that state are increasingly becoming divided into two states: a large, vibrant and competitive Bay Area that’s leading the country in growth and tech job creation, and a small, fractured and increasingly isolated Central Valley that’s becoming even more homogenized and less competitive.
It’s not hard to see why, after more than a century of growth.
With a larger-than-life population and an economy that’s at the center of the digital revolution and the country’s highest tax rate, the Bay Area has become more attractive to a wider range of talented people than ever before. Texas could see a similar shift to its own detriment if it doesn’t address its problems.
But California and Texas are not the only states experiencing this trend.
According to The New York Times, states including North Dakota, South Dakota, Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Nevada and Utah are also experiencing the growth of their populations.
But while those four states are experiencing population growth, they’re experiencing it in different ways.
Those four states, in fact, are undergoing a transformation that’s unlike anything that’s been seen in the past.
For example, the growth that North Dakota and South Dakota are experiencing is driven primarily by immigration,