California Most Desired State

October 19, 2010

California is the state where the most US adult non-residents would like to live, according to the results of a new Harris Poll.

Sunny Skies Have Appeal
For the seventh time in a row since 2002 California tops the list of states where the most people would like to live if they did not live in their own states. The next most popular states are Hawaii, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, New York and Washington.

Seven of the top 10 states have a warm, sunny climate. Only New York, Oregon and Washington have a cooler, cloudier weather pattern.


In addition, only three states are on the Eastern seaboard, with one in the Midwest, two in the Southwest and four on the West Coast (including Hawaii).

Older Americans Prefer Hawaii
Dividing respondents generationally, older Baby Boomers (46-64) and Matures (65-plus) favor Hawaii, while younger Echo Boomers (18-33) and Gen Xers (34-45) prefer California. Florida placed second with Baby Boomers and California placed third. Among Matures, California tied with Oregon for fifth.

The youngest respondents have preferences that deviate most from overall results. Echo Boomers are the only generation to place New York in their top five (number 2), and place New Jersey, a state which did not place in the overall top 10, at number three. Hawaii did not place in the Echo Boomers’ top five.

California and Florida were the only states to place in the top five lists of every generation.


Men, Women Have Similar Tastes
Differences in state preference vary less by gender than by age. Both men and women preferred California, Hawaii and Florida as their top three choices. Men chose Texas and New Jersey as their fourth and fifth choices, while women opted for Colorado and North Carolina.

East Sees Brightest Future, South Dimmest
Residents of Eastern states are generally the most optimistic about the near-term job market, according to results of another recent Harris Poll. When asked to speculate on the state of the US job market in six months, overall 23% of respondents say it will get better (2% much better and 21% somewhat better), 49% say it will remain the same, and 27% say it will get worse (5% much worse and 22% somewhat worse).

Easterners are most optimistic for the future, with 29% saying the job market will be better (6% much better and 23% somewhat better) and 24% saying it will be worse (4% much worse and 20% somewhat worse).

Looking ahead, Southerners have the most job pessimism. Only 21% of Southerners say the job market will be better (1% much better and 20% somewhat better), while 32% say it will be worse (7% much worse and 25% somewhat worse).

About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between September 14 to 20, 2010 among 2,620 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.


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