Sorry, Rick Perry: The great exodus to Texas is showing signs of losing steam.
About 57,000 Californians left the state to live in Texas during 2011, compared to 85,000 who made the same move in 2006, according to new census figures. The net loss of residents to Texas -- those leaving California for Texas minus those coming from there to California -- fell from about 36,000 to about 21,000 over the same period.
The housing boom drove much of the migration to Texas, Oklahoma and other Midwestern states in the middle of the decade. Many Californians who couldn't afford to purchase a home here -- at least without taking a subprime loan -- left for places where homes were relatively cheap.
After the recession began, home prices grew cheaper, but many Californians left the state anyway because the job market was in such dire straits.
Today, the job market in California is on the mend, and unemployment is falling, which could explain why fewer feel the need to rent a U-Haul and head east on Interstate 10.
Still, for the long-term unemployed or underemployed, a chart like the one below keeps the prospect tempting.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau - American Community Survey (via University of Minnesota); U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics