Reasons People are Leaving California for Other States, in Their Own Words: "It Was Time To Leave"

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Californians have always been proud to call the Golden State home. That pride is no doubt a part of the California experience and is one attitude that is hard to resist, even amongst newer residents who have just moved here.

And while new residents continue to move in, long-time residents are leaving the Golden State for numerous reasons.

Here are some of the reasons that Californians have given for moving to other states, in their own words.
Photo byJenn White/Burst

Cost of Living

In California, the cost of living is a staggering 42% higher than the national average. Housing is 101% higher than the national average, while utilities are 22% higher. And when it comes to basic necessities, groceries are around 10% higher than in the rest of the country, while clothing costs 10% higher.

A user on Reddit breaks it down for us:

"Hey, I did this!


  • Salary: $90k
  • Housing: $1650/month to rent 1 bedroom apartment; owning would cost >$500k
  • State Income Tax: 9%
  • State Capital Gains Tax: 9%


  • Salary: $90k
  • Housing: $1450/month to rent a 3 bedroom house; owning cost ~$250k
  • State Income Tax: 0%
  • State Capital Gains Tax: 0%

I ran some numbers a while back, and I think I saved something like $20k my first year. That helped me pay off my car and start saving for retirement.

California was fun, I won't say I didn't enjoy it. But on the whole, the quality of life isn't substantially different. Saving $20k per year, I could go visit California if I really wanted to, but I never have. For me, it's better to put that money into retirement."


While most people flock to California for the sunshine and warmer temps, some lifelong residents decide to move away for the opposite reason.

To quote a user on Reddit:

"Many people think the weather is perfect year-round. and it is. I hate that. I like wearing coats, drinking tea listening to the rain, and seeing the fog through the trees. and the occasional snow. the bay was 65-85 all the time. thats it. chilly enough in the mornings where I would want a hoodie, but step foot inside, and the heaters cranked up to 80 because it's sooooo cold out. Miserable experience for me personally."

Another user added:

"Fires came within 3/4 of a mile of my home 2 years ago. Obnoxious vacation homes are now near 25% of my Zip code. Have had three power outages this Winter. Recently lived with a flood watch for 2 weeks. Ben and Jerry's is $7.99 a pint. Propane is $4.59 a gallon. Time to leave."

Political Environment

Particular policy decisions and the political environment can be a major consideration for some residents contemplating a move.

A user on Reddit wrote:

"COL, crime, homelessness, traffic, sleazy governor. The laws are getting ridiculous. taxes. It just seems to have really accelerated down hill in the last decade or so."

Another user added:

"It seems to me that it is gradually becoming a very nanny state and that's something I can't stand. I'm all for protecting the environment and whatnot but stuff like the emission laws are out of whack there, smog or no smog."

What are your thoughts? do you agree with any of the residents mentioned in the article? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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