News and Commentary

Californians Are Leaving. Here’s Where They’re Going.
For sale sign in yard of house
Martin Barraud/Getty Images

Even if embattled Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom survives a recall vote in California next week, state residents apparently have had quite enough of the high tax and crime rates and are moving out.

California has 40 million residents, but that number has been dropping — and even lost a member of Congress last year over the plunge.

“More than 653,000 Californians moved to another state in 2019, while about 480,000 people moved here from elsewhere in the country, according to data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. (The 2020 numbers aren’t available, but analyses of other 2020 data sets have yielded similar results.),” The New York Times reported over the weekend.

Where are they moving to? In Texas, 82,235 people moved from California in the last year. In Arizona, 59,713. Nevada is now home to 47,322 former California residents; Washington 46,791; and Oregon 37,927, the Times wrote.

“For many Californians, the high cost of living makes staying here nearly impossible, experts say. In Texas, the median home price is $329,000, less than half of what it is in the Golden State, according to Redfin, a real estate brokerage,” said the Times.

One person who says they have first-hand experience with Californians leaving the state is Caitlyn Jenner, one of the Republican gubernatorial candidates.

Appearing on the Sean Hannity show on Fox News, Jenner said: “My friends are leaving California. Actually my hangar, the guy right across, he was packing up his hangar and I said, ‘Where are you going?’ And he says ‘I’m moving to Sedona, Arizona, I can’t take it anymore. I can’t walk down the streets and see the homeless.’ I don’t want to leave. Either I stay and fight, or I get out of here.”

But a recent study said the flow of Californians of late is nothing unusual.

“UC San Diego recently conducted a survey that found the percentage of Californians who plan to leave the state has remained static over the past two years. Twenty-three percent of California’s voters reported that they were seriously considering leaving California, which is slightly lower than the 24 percent found in a 2019 survey conducted by UC Berkeley. This finding is consistent with research that UC San Diego did on Google search trends, which found no increase over the course of the pandemic in how frequently Californians searched terms such as ‘moving company’ or ‘U-Haul,’” the university reported in July.

Other findings in the UC San Diego survey of more than 3,000 respondents include:

  • By nearly a 2-to-1 margin, Californians respond that they still believe in the “California Dream” (that it’s a great place to live and raise a family) but belief in that dream depends on demographics, economic status and partisan affiliation. Spanish speakers, Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans and younger Californians are more optimistic, while middle-class Californians, white respondents, older residents and Republicans are more pessimistic.
  • Those living in parts of the state that have not been part of recent economic expansions, including the Central Valley and northern counties outside of the Bay Area, are most likely to contemplate moving.
  • Middle-class Californians making incomes between $50,000 and $100,000 are the most concerned about the state of California today as well as its future.
  • In these polarized times, there is a surprisingly small gap between the percentage of Democrats (21 percent) and Republicans (30 percent) seriously considering moving.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Californians Are Leaving. Here’s Where They’re Going.