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Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration report shows where new residents came from

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Using license registrations, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) compiled a list to show where new residents are migrating from.

Scott Hardin, spokesperson for the DFA, said when new residents move to the state, they have to register for an Arkansas license and this information allows the department to see where residents are moving from. At the top of the list, was Texas with over 9,000 residents moving to Arkansas in 2022. Second on the list was California with slightly more than 5,000 of their residents moving to the state. Hardin said that caught the eye of the DFA.

“I don’t think you necessarily hear a lot about Californians moving to Arkansas from California. We hear a lot about Californians moving from California to Tennessee and to Austin,Texas. You hear about that but you don’t hear about Arkansas in that conversation, and I think Arkansas is becoming a piece of that conversation,” he said.

Hardin said remote work is part of the reason why Californians are moving to the state. He explained that workers are using remote work to escape the high cost-of-living in California.

“Whatever that salary is in California it’s going to go as far as it is in California. You bring that same salary to Arkansas and you’re looking at having a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles and be based out of LA for the rest of your life, or moving to Arkansas where you can have larger space, a home, property and a great view,” Hardin said.

According to the latest figures from Redfin, a real estate company, the median home price in California is about $743,000, while Arkansas is about $250,000.

Hardin said he wants to hear from residents of Arkansas who moved from California to learn how they found out about Arkansas and why they settled here. He added that information could be important for helping the state recruit businesses.

When residents are moving to Arkansas, Hardin said they are mainly moving to the northwest and central regions. He added that the southern part of the state in the El Dorado area is starting to see out-of-state residents move there.

Data from the Census’ survey that is done each decade showed Arkansas’ population grew by 3.3% from 2010 to 2020. Most of the growth occurred in cities, while rural parts of the state lost population, according to the Arkansas Senate’s website. Out of the 75 counties in Arkansas, 53 of them lost population.

This is the first time the DFA compiled a list to see where new residents are moving in from. Hardin said going forward the state wants to compile this type of data every year.

Complete list from the DFA (2022):

1. Texas - 9,441 transfers

2. California - 5,234 transfers

3. Oklahoma - 3,305 transfers

4. Florida - 2,840 transfers

5. Tennessee - 2,427 transfers

6. Louisiana - 2,265 transfers

7. Colorado - 1,953 transfers

8. Arizona - 1,773 transfers

9. Illinois - 1,698 transfers

10. Mississippi - 1,446 transfers

11. Washington (state)- 1,272 transfers

12. Kansas- 1,156 transfers

13. Georgia- 1,078 transfers

14. North Carolina- 806 transfers

15. Ohio- 712 tranfers

16. Alabama- 702 tranfers

17. Indiana-699 transfers

18. Wisconsin- 605 transfers

19. Virginia- 600 transfers

20. Minnesota- 530 transfers

21. Pennsylvania- 517 transfers

22. South Carolina- 465 transfers

23. Alaska-219 transfers

24.Hawaii- 144 transfers

25. Rhode Island- 39 transfers

Copyright 2023 KUAR. To see more, visit KUAR.

Ronak Patel is a political and governmental affairs reporter for KUAR News.