Are millennials fleeing Californian cities for Texas?

The most popular interstate relocation route in the US sees a record-breaking influx of residents.

By Alex Summers

The trend of Californians moving to Texas has reached new heights as an increasing number of individuals seek the benefits of a more affordable housing market and robust employment opportunities, according to a new report from StorageCafe.

Dallas - millennial city
The sun sets behind the Dallas skyline seen from Interstate 45. Millennials are reportedly leaving California in higher numbers in favour of a new start in the southern state. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Washington Post via Getty Images)

In 2021, 111,000 people made the move from California to Texas, representing an 80% increase compared with figures from 2012. This migration route has become a magnet for millennials, with affordability and job prospects being major driving factors. The findings of the report highlight key details of this ongoing population shift.

Record-breaking migration

The flow of individuals from California to Texas continues to grow, with 2021 witnessing an unprecedented surge in relocations.

A total of 111,000 people, averaging 300 individuals per day, exchanged the sunny Californian skies for Texan ones. In contrast, Texans moving to California were significantly fewer, with 33,000 residents making the Golden State their new home.

Affordability and job opportunities

The decision to move from California to Texas is fuelled by the allure of affordability and a robust job market. Texas’s no-income tax policy, lower cost of living, and diverse employment opportunities, particularly in the tech and energy sectors, attract Californians seeking a friendlier housing market without sacrificing their high-paying jobs.

Additionally, single-family homes in Texas offer more living space, being 17% larger than their Californian counterparts. Utilities also come at a lower cost, with savings of approximately 20% compared with California.

Business-friendly environment

Texas has actively pursued a business-friendly environment, resulting in numerous companies relocating their headquarters to the state. Since 2020, more than 100 companies have made the move according to the report, with 40% of them originating from California.

High-profile figures like Elon Musk and Joe Rogan have also shifted their activities to Texas, contributing to its reputation as an attractive destination for businesses.

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Millennials driving the migration

The majority of individuals migrating from California to Texas are millennials, representing 46% of those making the move. Gen Xers follow suit, comprising 21% of the migrants. Millennials moving to Texas bring an above-average household income of $114,000 per year, 21% higher than the national average for their age cohort. The strong tech scene in cities like Austin, with prominent players like Dell, Google, Apple, and Oracle, appeals to the tech-savvy generation.

Housing perks

The report highlights specific relocation routes and the potential housing perks for those moving from California to Texas. For example, Santa Clara to Dallas County offers the most significant savings when purchasing a home, with a remarkable 258% difference in listing prices.

Comparing other routes, Los Angeles County to Collin County results in 62% larger houses, while choosing Dallas over San Jose can yield homebuying savings of up to $1m.

Renting opportunities

Renters also benefit from the California to Texas migration, with significant cost savings and larger living spaces. Renters can save over $1,000 a month in 18 of the most popular Texas destinations compared with their Californian counterparts. The Los Angeles County to El Paso County route presents the highest savings, with a 154% difference in rental rates. Similarly, moving from San Diego to San Antonio allows renters to save around $1,470 per month.

[Read more: Competition for rental properties in the US sees rebound in New York and Silicon Valley]

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