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The Golden State: Who is leaving California, who is coming and why?

Written By | Aug 10, 2021

Thanks to Anatolii Nesterov @monadiform for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/Fiq341OZyMk

SAN DIEGO, August 10, 2021– The golden state may not seem as shiny as it once did, with many leaving the state, but people are still moving to California. As a California native, I love my home state.

Sunny California

California is on the surface one of the best places to live in the world. We enjoy a pleasant year-round climate, access to beaches and mountains, varieties of schools and universities, parks, and entertainment. California boasts quality healthcare and hospital systems, and magnificent travel-worthy counties and communities

Moreover, California boasts the fifth largest economy in the world, comprising an estimated 15% of the entire US economy.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the 2020 census showed a slowdown in the 2010s. Thus promulgating the loss of one seat in the House of Representatives.




In addition to fewer births, more deaths, and less international migration it is estimated by the PPIC that approximately 6.1 million people left California in the 2010s. Those residents moving to other states. Only 4.9 million migrated into California from other U.S. locales.

The golden state still glitters for some

What is interesting to note is that higher numbers of lower- and middle-income individuals leaving California. Those movers are seeking better opportunities for work and more affordable housing. Higher income level persons migrated to California, especially for highly sought-after professions.

The PPIC estimates that approximately 1/3 of all Californians have been so concerned over the rising cost of housing they have considered leaving the Golden State.

Thanks to Matthew LeJune @matthewlejune for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/8L_bURvgm0c

Fast forward to the advent of COVID-19 along with work and other restrictions.

Workers were either essential, laid-off, or lost their jobs and professions entirely as businesses of all sizes struggled. And are continuing to struggle now. Suffering the loss of business, revenues, downsizing, or going out of business entirely.

Whole industries are either changing their business model or finding themselves to be obsolete. They need to be nimble in their ability to meet the ever-changing needs of the marketplace and those who are their consumers.

Working at office sites became almost absolute. Workers work remotely from their homes, prompting rethinking about home office space, relief from the dread of commuting, and newly discovered flexibility to work remotely from just about anywhere.

As home values have risen in California, some have opted to reap the benefits by selling their California homes. Relocating to suburbia and states offering affordable housing and overall more quality of life for less overall cost.

Several national moving companies have indicated that California and New York are the states requesting higher volumes of relocation services. With many Californians migrating to Idaho, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Washington and the Carolinas among a few others.


Death Spiral States update: Where the takers outnumber the makers


During the 2020s, California experienced an approximate 36% inbound rate with a 64% outbound one, with the leading outbound occurring from Anaheim, San Diego, and Riverside Counties, according to South Florida Agent magazine.

In a 2020 interview on WBUR On Point, Lauren Hepler, an economy reporter for CalMatters said:



“The other statistic that’s really caught a lot of people’s attention was that last year…from July 2019 to 2020, 135,000 more people left the state moved here. And that’s only the 12th time that’s happened since 1900.”

When it comes to California housing shortages for lower-income persons, being the most populous state in the country also means it hosts approximately 20% of the entire US homeless population, with 151,278 homeless individuals–10,980 of which are homeless Veterans, as stated in Downtown Streets Team.

The leading cause of homelessness is due to job loss or economic insecurity and the inability to afford rent.

Homeless encampment/Skid Row, Los Angeles, CA https://youtu.be/08GSVZPkaJw
Screenshot via YouTube/Arthur Moore

Affordable housing is a critical issue in California, and no doubt the outbound migration out of California by a variety of key industries, and the closing of businesses due to COVID, has not helped many Californians find suitable living conditions.

Policymakers have the daunting task of effectively responding to an array of critical social, economic, safety, welfare, and environmental issues impacting our state simultaneously.

It may be difficult for leadership to find solutions that are representative of the most pressing state-wide problems of the day which would also address changing demographics in their many forms–and are situational, less predictable, and apolitical.

California is a beautiful state with incredible natural resources–may it be Golden forever.

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health.

About the Author:

Laurie Edwards-Tate is Communities Digital News senior health and aging specialist covering healthful eating, living, and aging information. Since 1984, Edwards-Tate has served as President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare, a non-medical Home Care Aide Organization, serving seniors, disabled, infirm, and children. Laurie is on the Board of Director 2018 (elected), Palomar Health; Executive Board Member; Chair Board Human Resources Committee; Member of Audits & Compliance Committee; Community Relations Committee.

Read More from Laurie Edwards-Tate here

(Main image: Thanks to Anatolii Nesterov @monadiform for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁

https://unsplash.com/photos/Fiq341OZyMk )

Laurie Edwards-Tate

Since 1984, Laurie Edwards-Tate has served as President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare, a non-medical Home Care Aide Organization, serving seniors, disabled, infirm and children. Laurie is Board of Director 2018 (elected), Palomar Health; Executive Board Member; Chair Board Human Resources Committee; Member of Audits & Compliance Committee; Community Relations Committee.