Sep 12, 2023 - News

Many native-born Arizonans are sticking around

Data: Dallas Fed via U.S. Census; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

A new report from Dallas Fed shows Arizona is one of the top states when it comes to native-born residents sticking around.

Why it matters: The "stickiest" states tend to have better economic conditions, more job opportunities, lower housing costs and lower tax burdens, Dallas Fed wrote in its report.

Driving the news: The report uses American Community Survey data to determine a state's "stickiness" by the percentage of people born in the state who still lived there as of 2021.

  • It also quantifies "outmigration" rates based on the number of residents per 1,000 who left the state that year.

State of play: The stickiest states, Dallas Fed learned, generally have warmer weather, which would explain the higher ranks for Arizona, Texas and the southeastern U.S..

Yes, but: Three of the top states are Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, where the weather isn't exactly a selling point.

  • Dallas Fed also found a correlation between stickiness and major population centers — the five stickiest states have 15 metro areas with populations of at least 1 million.

Details: Arizona, long known as a transplant state where people don't have roots, tied with Michigan as the 10th stickiest state.

  • As of 2021, 71.5% of native-born residents still live here.
  • Texas was the stickiest state by wide margin 82.2%, followed by North Carolina (75.5%), Georgia (74.2%) and California (73%).
  • The least sticky state was Wyoming, where only 45% of people born there stayed, followed by North Dakota (48.6%) and Alaska (48.7%).

Between the lines: Arizona's economic growth has driven a decades-long population boom, and Phoenix's burgeoning tech sector has led some to dub it "the city of the future."

  • We have the 17th lowest overall tax burden, according to a March report from WalletHub.
  • Cheap housing has historically been a major factor in Arizona's growth, but that's not necessarily the case anymore: lists Arizona's median house price of $443,000 the 16th highest in the country, and the state's average rent of $1,619 is 21st highest, according to RentCafe.

The intrigue: Stickier states tend to have lower outmigration numbers, but Arizona's ranking in that category was middle-of-the-road.

  • Arizona had 24.2 residents per 1,000 leave in 2021, the 25th highest rate in the U.S.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected throughout to reflect that the Dallas Fed reported on the percentage of residents born in Arizona who "stick around" and continue living here (not the percentage of the total population that's native-born).


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