SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Instead of a gold rush, it looks like California is experiencing a mass exodus.
Census data shows just under 700,000 people loaded up a moving truck and said goodbye to the Golden State last year. A half-million moved to California during that same time, which means 200,000 more people went out than came in.
Where did they go? Texas topped the list of places that ex-Californians moved to last year, with over 86,000 trading flip flops for cowboy boots. The other hot spots for exiles were Arizona, Washington, Nevada and Oregon.
A San Francisco delivery driver told KRON he’s thought about moving just for a change of scenery but knows others who have more serious reasons to fuel their flight out of the state. The driver explained, “The cost of living, the opportunity for employment it seems like it’s getting a little bit more difficult and more competitive, salaries are the same so they’re moving out to where the cost of living is much lower and they can stretch their dollar a little bit more.”
A recent poll by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies found that half of California voters have thought about moving out, with Republicans and conservatives being about three times as likely as Democrats and liberals to consider putting California in the rear view.
On California resident said, “I feel like people come here to live the California lifestyle but then sometimes it’s too laid-back for individuals, to liberty or liberal, if that’s the word, and so people realize that, it just freaks them out ‘cause they thought it was his paradise lifestyle but really it’s not.”
The University of California poll says the top reasons for leaving include the housing costs, high taxes and the state’s political climate.