Q&AZ: Is It Rare To Be An Arizona Native?

By Claire Caulfield
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 5:10am
Updated: Thursday, June 6, 2019 - 12:48pm
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Arizona is a commuter state, as only 39.7 percent of residents in 2017 were born in the state, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey.

Christian Lester, a KJZZ listener, said people tell him how rare it is that he was born in Arizona, and asked about the phenomena via Q&AZ.

Arizona is a top five commuter states, only beat by Nevada (25.9 percent), Florida (36 percent) and the District of Columbia (37.4 percent).

On the other end of the spectrum 78.3 percent of Louisiana residents hold a birth certificate from the Bayou State. Michigan (76.1 percent), Ohio (74.8 percent) and Pennsylvania (72.2 percent) also have a high retention rate.

Lester said he's heard a lot of people move to Arizona from California. 

"Could be due to cheaper housing, or could be people from California are more likely to tell you that they are from California, skewing the results," he said.

His informal survey is backed up by Census data: moving from California to Arizona was one of the top 10 most common moves in the country, as was moving from California to Texas, California to Nevada or California to Washington.

In the more literal sense: it’s uncommon to be a Native American in Arizona. Only 5.32 percent of the state’s population is ethnically native to the state, according to the 2017 world population review. But compared to other states that’s fairly high: Arizona has the seventh largest Native American population and there are 20 federally recognized tribes in the state.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been modified to correct Arizona's the percentage of residents who were born in the state.

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