Dallas Fed: Texas Residents Least Likely to Move


As migration trends continue to show people are moving to Texas, native Texans are the least likely to leave, making Texas the “stickiest” state according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

“Texas is the nation’s stickiest state. The natives aren’t leaving,” stated an analysis of Census Bureau migration data.

A British publication highlighted the state migration trends citing the Dallas Fed’s analysis, saying, “Texas is the archetypal sticky state: huge, warm, with big cities, a strong identity and a diversified economy. It also retains residents with features like a lack of state income tax and the 15th lowest cost of living in the country.”

The Dallas Fed defined “stickiness” as being related to economic health. “The share of people born in a state who stay there can provide an important measure of its attractiveness to workers. The stickiness of native residents is also key to maintaining a stable (or growing) population and workforce, which is vital to economic growth,” it explained.

The Dallas Fed analyzed Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data, which shows that 82% of native Texans were still living in Texas in 2021.

The other sticky states rounding out the top five are North Carolina, Georgia, California, and Utah. Conversely, the top five least sticky states are Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska, Rhode Island, and South Dakota.

“Notably, the least sticky states tend to see high levels of out migration of everyone—not just their native residents,” the Dallas Fed observed.

The analysis also found that Texas had the lowest out migration rate in 2021. “Overall outmigration numbers track everyone moving from one state to another state, including both people born there and those who moved there before leaving, making them a better indicator of population flows,” it elaborated.

The more sticky a state, the better its economic conditions, the Fed’s analysis concluded. “Without sufficient employment opportunities, native residents may be pushed to other states to seek good jobs.”

Governor Greg Abbott echoed this sentiment, noting that people move to Texas due to higher-paying jobs and a lower cost of living. “The most dynamic economy in the nation is built by Texans,” he said last month when Texas again broke its employment records.

“This continued momentum is a testament to the strength of our young, skilled, diverse, and growing workforce, our welcoming business climate, and the strategic investments we continue to make in education, workforce development, and critical infrastructure. These are the Texas advantages that help us attract and retain job-creating businesses growing in diverse industries across every region of our great state.”

In April, Texas’ job growth rate tripled the U.S. rate and again set record highs for the greatest number of filled jobs, employed Texans, and the largest civilian labor force in state history.

April marked the 37th consecutive month of positive annual job growth, with growth in 46 of the last 48 months. In March, Texas broke the same records, with the Houston area adding the second-largest number of nonfarm jobs in the country.

Texas also continues to place first in nearly every top business ranking every year and every month. This year, Texas was named the best state for business for the 20th year in a row. Gov. Abbott was recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine.

“Texas truly is the Best State for Business and stands as a model for the nation,” Abbott said. “Freedom is a magnet, and Texas offers entrepreneurs and hardworking Texans the freedom to succeed. When choosing where to relocate or expand their businesses, more innovative industry leaders recognize the competitive advantages found only in Texas. The nation’s leading CEOs continually cite our pro-growth economic policies—with no corporate income tax and no personal income tax—along with our young, skilled, diverse, and growing workforce, easy access to global markets, robust infrastructure, and predictable business-friendly regulations.”

Over the past year, Texas ranked first for having the best business climate and was awarded 12 consecutive years as the top state for attracting the most job-creating business relocations and expansion projects.

Four Texas cities are listed among the top in the country for career growth; six of the 10 U.S. counties listed as talent and economic powerhouses are in Texas.

More people moved to Texas in 2023 than any other state; Texas counties saw the greatest population gains by far in 2023. The Census Bureau cited Texas’ record job growth and economic expansion as hallmarks of its success in 2023.

The Texas economy also grew faster than the national economy for six consecutive quarters. Texas leads the U.S. in semiconductor manufacturing, and the Texas oil and natural gas industry broke multiple records in 2023.

As the oil and natural gas capital of the U.S., Texas reported the highest-ever totals in production, exports, refining outcomes, crude oil supply, and paid the highest taxes in state history, amounting to more than $26.3 billion.

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