The liberal city of San Francisco, California, is losing residents at a record pace, many of whom are migrating to states such as Texas and Florida, according to a recent study.
San Francisco has lost more residents between 2019 and 2020 than any other major U.S. city, according to data compiled by the commercial realty firm CBRE Group and reported by Business Insider. The study discovered that the number of those fleeing San Francisco to Texas spiked 32.1%, and those making the trek to Florida skyrocketed by 46.2%.
Unicorn investor Keith Rabois, who has moved to Miami, maintained that the Bay Area is losing its lucrative tech talent, telling Business Insider that “many of the most ambitious people on the planet have lived here, but post-COVID, I think the concentration of talent has atrophied, perhaps permanently.”
Most of those who left San Francisco, however, did not leave the state but simply made their way north to Sacramento. As Business Insider noted regarding the CBRE data, the number of moves from San Francisco to Sacramento increased 70% in 2020, which outnumbers the amount of people leaving for cities in other states, such as Tampa, San Antonio, and Austin.
“The pandemic came just as the bulk of the large and increasingly affluent millennial cohort had reached prime family formation age,” the report states. “Consequently, millennials had been trending toward more suburban residencies even before COVID-19 came on the scene.”
California as a whole has been bleeding residents in recent years under the leadership of Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who faces a potential recall election amid fury that erupted in response to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hans Johnson, a demographer at the Public Policy Institute of California, addressed what he described as “a real sea change in California, which used to be this state of pretty robust population growth.”
“It hasn’t been for some time now. But it’s now gotten to the point where the state is essentially not growing population-wise at all,” Johnson said.
As the Washington Examiner reported:
According to a population estimate this week, 135,600 more people fled the Golden State than moved there, which marks only the 12th time since 1900 that the state saw a net migration loss. It is the third-largest drop recorded.
Johnson added that the population decrease could cause the state to lose a seat in Congress as well as an Electoral College vote for the first time. The state did not gain any seats following the 2010 census, which was also a first.
Residents have cited high taxes as a main driver of the decision to leave.
“I never wanted to leave California,” San Francisco real estate broker Scott Fuller said about his departure from the state after living there since 1983. “It’s the most beautiful state with the best climate. I think the tipping point was continued tax increases and even more proposed tax increases. … I have absolutely no regrets.”
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