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State's Population Continues to Churn

The state got a bunch of new residents last year.

Of the nearly 223,000 people who moved here in 2011 from other states , close to 50,000 came from California. Economist Tom Rex of Arizona State University said that's not a surprise.

"They live in California. Then they retire and say, gee, we need to move someplace less expensive because our income has dropped so much with retirement," Rex said.

But nearly 36,000 Arizonans packed their bags and moved to California last year. Overall, the Census Bureau reports close to 212,000 people decided that the Grand Canyon State was no longer for them. And while in most cases, like California, in-migration exceeded those who left, that was not the case universally. Texas picked up more than 20,000 former Arizonans while fewer than 13,000 residents of the Lone Star state came here. Rex said that is a change from a decade ago when more Texans came here than Arizonans who went there. He said the reason is that state weathered the recession better.

"Texas, of all the states, wasn't as hard hit with the economic downturn," Rex said. "And a good part of that was because they had no housing bubble at all. There was just none of the investment activity in Texas. So that left them a lot better off."

The Census Bureau also estimates that the state added about 43,000 residents from other countries last year. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.

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