Texans are always comparing the state to California. I know because I live in Texas. I don't know if Californians compare their state to anyone else. One claim Texans always make is about how many Californians are moving to Texas. There's no doubt that the two states are on different trend lines. Texas is set to gain three Congressional seats in the 2020 census. California, for the first time ever, is set to lose one. What's behind this? Texans usually credit the lack of a state income tax or the light regulation on business. Paul Krugman, in his latest newsletter, points to another cause.
Krugman's explanation is found in that graph above. The blue line in that graph above shows that real L.A. housing prices (i.e., adjusted for inflation) have tripled since the mid-'70s. Krugman says, "it turns out not to be affluent, highly educated residents fleeing those 'job-killing taxes.' People like that are still moving in. Instead, lower-income and lower-education residents are leaving, probably because housing is so unaffordable."
Krugman calls the "liberal" housing policy in conservative Texas the secret to its population growth. Builders face fewer obstacles in Texas to building new housing. The red line in that same graph shows that real Dallas housing prices have barely budged since the mid-'70s. What's behind that? It isn't a welcoming attitude to apartments, four-plexes, duplexes, and "accessory dwelling units" (so-called granny flats) in our built-out cities. Neighborhoods here seem just as opposed to them as Californians are. Maybe the people we elect to government in north Texas tend to be more open to such building options, but the neighbors aren't. My guess is that it's probably more about sprawl. In north Texas, governments and neighbors are both fine with new housing, as long as it's in those cotton fields up north.