Texas and California residents top out-of-staters moving to Arkansas in 2023, data shows

(Xart Production/Adobe)

More new Arkansans moved to the Natural State last year from Texas and California than any other states, according to state driver’s license data.

The Division of Motor Vehicles issued 44,271 license transfers in 2023, offering one of the first looks at in-bound migration.

The data only captures people who moved to the state and transferred their licenses from the other 49 states and a handful of territories, so it doesn’t count children and others who may not transfer licenses.

But the data is available before Census statistics, which run a year or two behind.

Thousands moved to Arkansas from neighboring states, but also from places like California and Florida.

The top seven states for in-bound license transfers last year were:

Texas: 7,993
California: 4,293
Missouri: 3,329
Oklahoma: 2,652
Florida: 2,609
Tennessee: 1,852
Louisiana: 1,830

“This list further confirms people from across the United States are choosing to make Arkansas home,” said Scott Hardin, a spokesperson for the Department of Finance and Administration. “The state’s momentum in attracting new residents results in a broader tax base, providing additional resources to cities and counties throughout Arkansas.”

Arkansas’ total population grew by 21,328 from 2022-2023, according to preliminary Census data. Arkansas’ population is 3.03 million, according to the Census.

The Census’s most recent state-by-state migration data is from 2022. It estimates that 86,375 people moved to Arkansas from out of state, and about 74,000 Arkansans left the state.

More than 17,000 were from Texas, the most of any state, followed by California (7,783), Florida (7,065), Oklahoma (5,995) and Louisiana (4,994), per the Census.

In addition to residents from other states, new Arkansans came to the state last year from outside the contiguous U.S., according to the DMV.

The bulk of those new license transfers came from Puerto Rico (134), France (109), Germany (38) and South Korea (37).

This story first appeared in Arkansas Advocate and is being republished through a Creative Commons License. See the original story here. Arkansas Advocate is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Arkansas Advocate maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sonny Albarado for questions: [email protected]. Follow Arkansas Advocate on Facebook and Twitter.