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2020 Study: Where Are Americans From, State by State, City by City?

Key findings:

  • Homebodies of Michigan: 77% of people living in Michigan were born there
  • Only 25% of people living in Nevada were born in Nevada, 19% were born in California
  • 14% of the Oregonian population are actually from California
  • People born in New York state account for 8% of Florida’s population
  • A quarter (25%) of Miami residents are from Cuba
  • 52% of New Yorkers were born outside the state of New York
  • 28% of Miami residents who were born elsewhere are under 24

Americans move around a lot. Less than in years and decades, as we’ve noted in our studies, but millions of Americans move every year.

Whether it’s chasing dreams in New York City or LA, chasing the sun in Phoenix or Miami, or craving a change of pace in Seattle or Austin –  many of us end up living in places far from places where we were Born.

In this post, we look at the U.S. states and Cities to see where their residents are from. Which cities have the most diverse populations? Which states the most residents from neighboring states, and which are top destinations for expats from overseas?

Read on below to find out.

Born and Raised: Proud ‘Michiganers’ and More

Before we get into the cities, let’s have a quick look at the states. For most states, it is true that the lion’s share of the population was born in that state. The state that houses the highest percentage of its original residents is Michigan, with 77%. The lowest? It’s Nevada, where only 25% of the current population were born in Nevada.

Interestingly enough, it’s these states in the Midwest and around the Great Lakes that have the highest proportion of people born in them who still live there. Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin—over 70% of people living in these states never left them.

The curious exception to this rule is Louisiana, where only 24% of the population were born outside the Bayou State.

New Yorkers in California, Californians in Texas

Things get more interesting when we look at the people born outside the states they live in. 

California might be a dream destination for many people in the U.S. and beyond, but boy do Californians get around. Not only were 19% of Nevada’s residents born in the Golden State, so were 14% inside Oregon, 10% in Idaho, and 9% in the state of Washington. Even 3% of all Texans were born in California.

“…it’s these states in the Midwest and around the Great Lakes that have the highest proportion of people born in them who still live there: Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin—over 70% of people living in these states never left them.”

But it’s not just Californians that like to settle outside their home state. New Yorkers have been up and down the East Coast: 11% of people in the neighboring New Jersey were born in the Empire State, as were 10% of those living in Connecticut, 8% of those in Florida. Enough New Yorkers have made it to the West Coast that 2% of California’s population are from New York, making it the largest out-of-state diaspora in the state.

Elsewhere, born-and-bred Texans have a strong presence in the four states Texas borders, just like those from the state of Illinois, who successfully settled just outside the border of their own state.

Breaking Down Cities: Where Are New Yorkers Actually From?

Now that we’ve looked at the states, let’s turn to the cities. We looked at ten of the biggest cities across the country to get a sense of just how many people from all over the country and the world they bring together.

Looking at the most obvious example of a global metropolis that is New York City, you might be surprised to find out that 48% of people living in NYC are from the state of New York, with the total share of U.S.-born population at 59%.

About 15% of New York City residents are from other countries in North America—DR and Jamaica being top countries representing the regions, while 12% are from Asia with 4.4% from China. 

Just under 7% of New Yorkers were born in Europe, and there’s a clear Slavic bias there with three of the top four countries being Russia, Ukraine, and Poland.

We Love LA!

Across the country on the West Coast, the picture for Los Angeles is both different and similar to that of NYC. The overwhelming majority of the LA residents are American-born (62%), with 45% being born in the Golden State itself.

However, the breakdown of overseas residents is entirely different. Where New York is dominated by the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, more people in LA hail from Mexico and El Salvador. Where most Asian-born New Yorkers are from China, in Los Angeles, they originate from the Philippines and Korea. 

The share of European expats in LA is half that of New York City – only 3.5% – with the biggest diaspora hailing from Armenia. 

Miami, the Melting Pot City

The one big city with a starkly different picture of its population is Miami, FL. Not only do as many as 44% of its residents come from abroad, a quarter of them (25%) hail from Cuba. 

“The state that houses the highest percentage of its original residents is Michigan, with 77%. The lowest? It’s Nevada, where only 25% of the current population were born in Nevada.”

Slightly more (28%) were born in Florida itself, with a share of all American-born residents at 41%. Where South American-born residents were much more of a rarity in the likes of NYC and LA, as many as one in ten people in Miami were born on that continent.

Expats from Europe make up 3% of Miami’s population, but note that most Europeans in Miami are from Spain. Asian-born residents barely register 1%.

Check our interactive chart below to find out how the population of other big US cities breaks down by their place of birth. 

What Age to Move

Miami’s Cuban heritage isn’t the only thing that makes it stand out. Unlike many of the biggest cities in the United States, over a quarter of people moving there (28%) are in their teens and early twenties.

For cities like Boston, DC, and Philadelphia, the majority of people (over 50%) who were born elsewhere are Millennials, i.e., those who in 2020 are between the ages of 29 and 34.

Surprisingly enough, out-of-state movers to NYC, San Francisco, LA are overwhelmingly in their forties and early fifties. 

Nearly 93% of people who moved to LA from outside of California were Gen X’ers, as are 83% of people in San Francisco. For New York City, Gen X’ers accounted for almost two-thirds (65%) of all residents born out-of-state.

These stats mean one of two things: either people who have moved to these cities moved a long time ago, or that people are moving to these cities when they’re much older and have the means to do it. Either way, it’s either a sign of trends changing or these big cities becoming increasingly unaffordable for young people to move into.


For better or for worse, most people across the United States tend to stay put and never leave their state. However, for all those homebodies, there are plenty of those who seek their fortunes elsewhere: all those New Yorkers in California, Cubans in Miami, Russians in New York City, and Californians in Texas. 

Illustrations by Daniel Fishel

The post 2020 Study: Where Are Americans From, State by State, City by City? appeared first on The HireAHelper Blog.



This post first appeared on Local Movers - HireAHelper.com, please read the originial post: here

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