Californians Flee As State Faces Ongoing Issues

California is experiencing a significant exodus, with many residents seeking to escape the state’s challenges. Relocation firm moveBuddha reported that five of the top ten cities with the highest interest in outbound moves are in California, with Los Angeles and San Francisco at the forefront. Issues like frequent brownouts and high living costs are driving this trend.

Earlier projections suggested California’s population would reach 40 million by 2018 and 50 million by 2048. However, recent data shows a decline. The U.S. Census Bureau’s report in March indicated that the state’s population had fallen to around 38.96 million as of last July, down by 75,400 from the previous year and 573,000 below the peak of 39.5 million in 2020. This population decline led to California losing a congressional seat in 2020, with the potential for up to five more losses by 2030.

Despite a slight population increase last year, California gained only about 67,000 people, with a net loss of 47,000 U.S. citizens to other states, even as 114,200 legal immigrants moved in. Governor Gavin Newsom’s policies, including high gas prices and strict COVID-19 lockdowns, have been cited as factors contributing to the exodus. The lockdowns have particularly affected the state’s youth, with 10% of Californians aged 16-24 deemed “disconnected” in 2022, meaning they were neither in school nor employed.

Public school enrollment continues to decline, with 25% of students classified as chronically absent, missing at least 10% of school days. The cost of moving is also a deterrent, with a 26-foot U-Haul truck rental from San Francisco to Austin, Texas, priced at $5,040, while the reverse trip costs only $2,514. This pricing disparity highlights the high demand for outbound moves from California. The state’s ongoing issues and policies are driving many residents to seek better living conditions elsewhere, underscoring a broader migration trend out of the Golden State.

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