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They Left Where to Come Here?

Scott Lucas | August 6, 2013 | Story Politics

Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine hinges on Cate Blanchett's physical (and psychological) move from one coast to the other. And while we can grant Allen a certain license to place New York at the center of the universe, no matter how many True Jasmines we have, the actual number of migrants making the JFK to SFO flight is much smaller than you'd expect.

That's according to data we found from the Urban Institute highlighted by The Atlantic in February 2012, and dug up from the IRS for the period of time from 2004 to 2010. In our data visualization, the size of each bubble corresponds to the influx of residents from a given city to San Francisco. We've pulled out the top twenty cities (they're actually the metro areas, which means that SF is counting Oakland and Hayward as well.)

What the data shows is that if Blue Jasmine were true to the trends, Blanchett's character would have only had to make a quick commuter hop from San Jose's Mineta Airport to SFO. Heck, she could have just taken Caltrain. That's because the population influx from the San Jose region dwarfed the flow all other cities. It was more than triple New York's numbers. The next runners up were L.A. and Sacramento. Only then did NYC make an appearance—way down at number four. Stockton sent almost the same amount of people as the Big Apple did—even more surprising given that it has 300,000 inhabitants to New York City's 8 million.

So while New York City may loom large as a cultural beacon, when it comes to San Francisco, if you can make it here, you probably made it from somewhere other than there.

For the full map, click here.

Top Twenty Cities Migrating To SF (2004-2010):

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara 64,669
2. Los Angeles, CA 38,571
3. Sacramento, CA 23,924
4. New York NY 19,124
5. Stockton, CA 14,954
6. San Diego, CA 14,495
7. Santa Rosa, CA 11,432
8. Boston, MA 8,993
9. Seattle, WA 8,178
10. Chicago, IL 7,906
11. Washington D.C. 6,964
12. Riverside, CA 6,165
13. Modesto, CA 6,037
14. Phoenix, AZ 4,896
15. Portland, OR 4,153
16. Las Vegas, NV 4,060
17. Dallas, TX 3,382
18. Fresno, CA 3,337
19. Philadelphia, PA 3,224
20. Houston, TX 3,208

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