At LAT, Mark Z. Barabak explodes the myth that huge masses of Californians are pouring into Texas.
The nonpartisan California Policy Lab found that most people who moved in 2020 remained within the state, many trading city life for more suburban or rural areas. The well-to-do weren’t jetting off to spread their lucre elsewhere, parching Sacramento’s coffers. In fact, they were more likely to stay put than those of lesser means. There was an uptick in movement from the state. In the final quarter of 2020, 139,000 more people departed California than arrived, a droplet of humanity — 0.35% — in a sea of 40 million residents. Though growth has been slowing in recent years, owing in good part to decreased birthrates and less immigration, the state’s population has, since 1900, moved inexorably upward. The willingness to assume the worst, to write California’s obituary and tromp on its golden poppy-laden grave, is not new. (The latest gloomy accounts, it should be said, have included some in the Los Angeles Times.) H.D. Palmer, who has overseen numerous cycles of economic ups and downs as spokesman for the state Department of Finance, likens the frequency of death notices to the rhythm of California’s exceptionally high king tides. “They’re expected, they’re predictable, and they’re dramatic,” said Palmer, who has served in Sacramento under four governors, two Republicans and two Democrats. “They also will eventually ebb and recede.”