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Why are so many Los Angelenos fleeing to Riverside?

For the first time ever, the U.S. Census Bureau has released precise data on the number of movers migrating between U.S. cities, and found that Southern California was home to the largest inter-regional migration in the country. According to the American Community Survey, thousands of Los Angeles residents are skipping town.

“Nine of the top 10 metro migration flows were moves to nearby metro areas, with the largest flow of about 90,000 moving from the Los Angeles metro to the Riverside metro area,” said Kin Koerber, a Census Bureau demographer.

The data covers the years from 2009 to 2013, and shows that many Los Angeles residents moved to San Bernardino and Riverside counties in the Inland Empire. The region has driven about a third of California’s population growth in the past decade, with the population of the Inland Empire growing by at least 200,000 by 2010.

According to the Census Bureau, most of the Los Angelenos moving east are Latino residents.

The vast majority of moves occur within cities, with just 18% of movers going to a new metropolitan area in the last year. But that means about 8.5 million U.S. residents moved to a new city in 2014, most likely for financial opportunities. Studies show that 44% of people who move to a new community do so for a new job or better business opportunities.

Although the Los Angeles-Inland Empire migration was the largest in the nation, it did track with overall moving trends. Most movers who left their city chose a nearby metro area, with one notable exception.

“Movers who left the New York City metro area for the Miami metro area were the exception, with about 22,000 people making this move,” Koerber said.

Not all New Yorkers who headed south went as far as Florida, however; they also packed their bags and moved to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia in large numbers.