News and Commentary

AND THERE THEY GO: Californians Leaving For Greener Pastures In Droves

Based on the latest U.S. Census Bureau statistics from July 2016 to July 2017, Californians are leaving the state in droves. As Jed Kolko, chief economist with employment website, pointed out regarding the data, “The rate at which California has been losing people to other states has accelerated in the past couple of years, in part because of rising housing costs … more people moved out of California to other states than moved in from other states. In other words, California lost people due to domestic migration.”

There are apparently three prime destinations for the migrating Californians: Texas, Arizona, and Nevada. The census showed that during the period it covered, 79,000 people moved to Texas, 63,000 moved to Arizona, and 38,000 migrated to Nevada.

Interestingly, as Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of research and consulting firm Beacon Economics in Los Angeles, noted when looking at the data, “lower income Californians are the ones who are leaving, not higher income.”

The cost of housing appears to be the prime motivator for people to leave the Golden State; according to industry tracker Zumper, five of the top 10 most expensive rental markets in the country are in California. San Francisco is number one; San Jose is third; Los Angeles is sixth; Oakland is seventh, and San Diego is tied for eighth.

The National Association of Realtors and its state association assert that the median price in California for a single-family home is $550,990 compared to the national median price of $247,800.

Joel Kotkin, a presidential fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, California, said the emigration from California among higher-income people will increase.

Even H.D. Palmer, a finance spokesman for California governor Jerry Brown, admitted that the state’s top marginal personal income tax rate is the highest in the nation.