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More than half of Calif. residents born in state

Just a little more than half of California residents were born in the Golden State, with about another quarter born in a foreign country, according to current estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Most people in the United States reside in the state in which they were born. In Louisiana, more than three-quarters of residents were born there, the highest percentage of any state. In California, a slim majority – 54 percent – were born in state. Nevada had the lowest percentage of residents born in state, with less than a quarter of its population born there.

The last time the Census Bureau checked, it found that people most often moved for employment-related reasons when the move was of 500 miles or more and for housing-related reasons when it was 50 miles or less, according to a report analyzing geographic mobility in the United States between 2008 and 2009.

Estimates from the 2010 American Community Survey for California
Born in state
of residence
Born outside
state of residence
54% 18% 27%


The Western region of the country had fewer residents born in state than any other region. Among the Western states, Utah has the highest percentage of residents born in state, with 62 percent, and in Montana and New Mexico, more than half of all residents are natives.

In the Midwest, 70 percent of residents live in their native state, the most among all regions.

A report [PDF] and statement released by the Census Bureau this week highlight the data points from its 2010 American Community Survey that illustrate the mobility of U.S. residents.


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