California has the largest immigrant population in the country.
California has the largest immigrant population in the country.

In summary

The California Dream is a global brand. For more than a century the state has been a magnet for migrants from around the world, and now has the largest foreign-born population of any state in the country. Here are five maps and charts illustrating the past and present of who’s moving in and, lately, moving out.

The “California Dream” is a global brand. For more than a century the state has been a magnet for migrants from around the world, and now has the largest foreign-born population of any state in the country.

As part of the California Dream collaboration, journalists from CALmatters and public radio stations across California are reporting a series of stories on immigrant communities throughout the state. Here are five maps and charts illustrating the past and present of who’s moving in and, lately, moving out.

In the mid-20th century, many new Californians came from states in the Midwest and South. By the 1990s, immigrants from Latin America and Asia dominated new arrivals.

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As of 2017, nearly a third of Californians came here from another country.

An estimated 3 million immigrants call Los Angeles County home, making it the favored destination for foreign-born residents. But there are large pockets of immigrant communities throughout the state. 

Foreign immigration has fueled California’s population growth for decades. But California natives are moving out. Starting in the 1990s, California has been losing more residents to other states than it has gained.

For the better part of three decades, Californians have been moving out of the state to other parts of the country. The dot-com bust, Great Recession and recently soaring housing prices have fueled the exodus. Now more than 7 million people born in California call other states home.

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Matt Levin is the data and housing dude for CALmatters. His work entails distilling complex policy topics into easily digestible charts and graphs, finding and writing original stories from data, yelling...