Eastward Ho! Population Movement to California's Interior and Beyond

William H. Frey, University of Michigan and Brookings Institution

The past decade has shown an "an eastward surge" from the coastal regions of California, including greater Los Angeles and San Francisco, toward the central part of the state. Central California now competes with surrounding state destinations like Nevada and Arizona for coastal out-migrants in search of affordable housing and a more suburban lifestyle. This paper employs US Census sources and IRS migration data to examine the size, race and class characteristics of these flows and, along with immigration, their impacts on the major regions of the state. The "middle class flight" from coastal California to its central region and other western states, is contrasted with a similar "flight" from expensive northeast metropolitan areas to farther flung exurbs and metro areas in faster growing southeastern states.

Presented in Session 47: The Demography of California