California transplants finding southern comfort in Texas

Since 2007, Texas has been the state most Californians have relocated to.

With a population of nearly 39 million – more than any other state in the country – there’s clearly a lot to like about the Golden State. After all, The Mamas and The Papas didn’t call it “California Dreamin'” for nothing.

As nice as the scenery and weather may be, however, many of the state’s residents can’t help but feel drawn to the Lone Star State, newly released migration data reveals.

Between 2013 and 2014 – the latest period for which data is available, Texas was the No. 1 destination for moving Californians, The Washington Free Beacon reported from data compiled by the IRS. More specifically, nearly a quarter-million people moved from California during the 12-month period, over 33,600 of which relocated to the Mexican border state.

Californians’ relocation destination for seven years running

This isn’t the first time Texas has seen an onslaught of California transplants, either. It’s held the top relocation distinction for moving Californians since 2007.

What accounts for the exodus to Texas? Some believe it’s all about opportunity, something that’s been hard to come by in California where the unemployment rate has remained elevated. It’s also not the friendliest of places for business development, said Nathan Nascimento,┬áDirector of State Initiatives at Freedom Partners, a nonprofit headquartered in Virginia.

“California’s taxes and regulations are crushing businesses,” Nascimento told the newspaper. “There are [also] more opportunities in Texas for people to start new companies, get good jobs, and create better lives for their families.”

Unemployment rate below 4% in some parts of Texas

Though the jobless rate has fallen rather significantly nationally – below 5% in February, according to the U.S. Department of Labor – California’s is still elevated. For the state as a whole, the unemployment rate over the last several months has ranged between 5.5% and 6%, government records show.

The employment situation has been much better in Texas, with only 4.4% of the state out of work, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

Not only is it easier to make a living in Texas versus California, but the cost of ownership is lighter as well, especially to operate a car. For three years of ownership, the typical California motorist spends approximately $14,500, according to estimates from online personal finance resource GoBankingRates. Thanks in part to cheap car insurance in Texas, the cost of owning a car is nearly $3,000 less for Lone Star State drivers at just under $11,700.

There’s a lot to love about Texas, especially the insurance savings. Check out Elephant Auto Insurance to learn how you may be able to save by comparing online insurance quotes.