Report

Magnet or Sticky? A State-by-State Typology

Alaska apparently isn't much good at hanging on to its native sons and daughters. Just 28% of adults born there still live there, placing it last among the 50 states on this measure of population "stickiness."

Texas, by contrast, knows how to hold 'em. More than three-quarters of adults born in Texas still live there, making the Lone Star State the nation's stickiest.

Nevada, meanwhile, is the nation's most "magnetic" state: Fully 86% of its adult residents were born in a different state. And New York is the least magnetic: Just 19% of adult New Yorkers were born in another state.

Using Census data, the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends project has created a typology that groups all 50 states and the District of Columbia by whether they are "magnets" or "sticky" – or both, or neither. (Here is a list of magnet and sticky numbers for all states and D.C.)

First, let's define these terms. "Magnet" states are those in which a high share of the adults who live there now moved there from some other state. "Sticky" states are those in which a high share of the adults who were born there live there now.

At first glance, magnet and sticky states may seem to be mirror opposites of each other, and it is true that most states score high on one scale and low on another. But it turns out that 10 states rank high on both scales, and another nine score low on both.

Read the full report Magnet or Sticky? A State-by-State Typology on the Pew Research Center's Web site.