Is a mass exodus happening in California?

M. Brown
Paul Hanaoka via Unsplash

California is not only my own beloved home but it's one of the most beautiful states in the nation. California offers up a little bit of everything for everyone. It has beautiful beaches with salty waves for swimming, gorgeous mountains for hiking, and stunning deserts to explore among scores of other things to do and see.

However, it seems as though there has been chatter recently that more than some Californians have decided to leave the state due to dissatisfaction with housing costs, high taxes, and restrictive pandemic lockdown policies.

People move all the time and choose to live in other places but according to The California Policy Lab who conducted a study, 267,000 people left the state during the last three months of 2020 - compared to 128,000 who arrived. While this may not fall under the category of a mass exodus, exactly, this does indicate that far fewer people moved into California to replace those who decided to leave.

Another interesting tidbit from The California Policy Lab study is that many Californians who did pack their bags actually moved around within the state instead of leaving it entirely.

According to The Real Deal, the rising cost of living in many parts of California motivated people to leave before the coronavirus hit. In Los Angeles County, an average of 57,000 more people left than moved in from 2010 to 2017.

It seems as though the theories that people are flooding out of California at an accelerated rate are mostly exaggerated, however, it does seem as though fewer people are moving into the state right now. The California Lab study research was released in March 2021 so we will see if these trends within California continue into 2022.

On a personal note, as a person living within the state of California, I do know a handful of people who have moved out of the state, citing frustrations with housing costs, pandemic restrictions, or vaccine mandates so there are indeed some people I know personally who are a small part of a shift in Californian attitudes regarding their current living space within the state.

It's certainly disappointing to see some people leave California, but as times change and people reassess their living situations for various reasons, change is always inevitable.

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