Doug’s Blog

California Residents & Businesses Are Moving to Arizona & The Numbers are Proving It

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Arizona gained 107,628 residents in 2017, one of largest population gains among the nation, according to Census Bureau estimates. The rapid growth should contribute to a promising job market and a strong recovery in housing

In 2017, California was one of the top five leading states in the U.S. for people moving out of the state. Arizona is the top state for inbound moves, with 60 percent of people moving to Arizona last year. Following Arizona is Idaho, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee among the top inbound states for 2017. More than 30,000 people have left California for Arizona in each of the past three years. The big concern causing this move

California residents pay nearly twice as much state income taxes. The individual income tax rate is 4.54 percent in Arizona. It’s 9.3 percent in California.

Equity refugees have more money to buy and invest in less-expensive housing in states like Arizona. Oscar Wei, senior economist at the California Association of Realtors, said the cost of living and doing business in California clearly are main factors in California-Arizona migration patterns.  When you compare home prices of California to Arizona, Wei said, “California is about 60 percent higher than Arizona in general in terms of the state median price.”


Arizona’s total population growth rate of 3.15 percent between 2015 and 2017 was second only to Florida’s 3.53 percent among states with a population greater than 5 million people, according to raw census data.

While this has led to a slowdown in California’s population growth, other problems are pushing people to actively leave the state. Kotkin identifies two key groups quitting California: baby boomers approaching retirement and middle-income families aged 35-44. Aging boomers can sell their one asset — their house — and either afford a larger, nicer home in Arizona or a modest one and pocket the difference.

A company that manufactures workbenches and lab furniture in Orange County recently relocated to Goodyear to save money, while creating 30 new jobs in Arizona with the savings incurred by move. The director of sales for this company stated the move will increase most assuredly increase the stability and longevity of his business and increase the living standard of his employees. According to NerdWallet, a cost-of-living-calculator application, the cost of living in Orange County is 56 percent higher than living in Phoenix.


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