By MIKE SNYDER Copyright 2008 Houston Chroniclel; Dec. 22, 2008, 11:43PM
More people are moving to Texas from other states than from other countries as the state'srelatively strong employment base attracts families struggling with foreclosures and layoffs elsewhere, the Census Bureau reported Monday.
Between July 2007 and July 1, 2008, nearly 141,000 people moved to Texas from other states, compared with about 92,000 international migrants, the bureau said.
The data provide a fresh indicator of how longstanding immigration patterns into Texas are changing.
In the early years of this decade, international migration into Texas was two to three times asgreat as domestic, but the trend reversed starting in 2006.
Much of Texas' international migration historically hails from Mexico and Central America, whereimmigrants fled poor conditions. But the surging domestic migration into the Lone Star State isnow likely to come from economically depressed states such as Michigan, which lost about 46,000 residents between July 2007 and July 1, 2008.
Texas gained 484,000 residents last year, more than any other state. In percentage growth,Texas' 2 percent tied for third with North Carolina and Colorado behind Utah, 2.5 percent, and Arizona, 2.3 percent.
Domestic migration in Texas last year was almost three times what it was in 2005. It peaked in2006, when an influx of Louisiana residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina contributed to about 220,000 Texas domestic migrants.
Karl Eschbach, the state demographer, said Texas has continued to produce jobs while employment declined in many other states. He said this was the key factor driving the increased domestic migration.
"For the past several years, job growth in the United States means Texas," Eschbach said. "The Texas economy has so much outperformed the rest of the country."