‘Wait, why are we still here? :’ CA ranks 2nd for outgoing moves


California’s Democratic stronghold ranks second in the nation for outbound moves, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

California lost 352,000 people between April 2020 and January 2022, according to statistics from the state Department of Finance. The departure of hundreds of thousands of California residents comes after the state lost a congressional seat for the first time in history due to its below-average population growth from 2010 to 2020.

The Democratic-run cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles rank first and second in the nation for outbound moves. California residents are fleeing the state in droves due to its extremely high cost of living, housing prices, crime rates, and homelessness rates.

Data shows that Los Angeles residents have left the city for areas like Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Antonio and Dallas. About 41,000 Angelenos left the city in the second quarter of 2022, compared to 33,000 who left the city during the same period in 2021.

Former Oakland resident Hari Raghavan detailed his move from the California Bay Area to Miami, Florida in an interview with the Los Angeles Time.

“We moved to the Bay Area because we had to be there if you wanted to work in tech and start-ups, and now that it’s no longer a tether, we looked long and hard and said, ‘Wait, why are we here again?’ “, Raghavan told the Time.

Raghavan cited the state’s crime, quality of life and cost of living as reasons for his move to the Republican-run state of Florida.

“It made us think about where we really wanted to live,” Raghavan added.

Raghavan and his wife reportedly had their Oakland home broken into four times, but were ‘devastated’ when they accidentally left their Miami garage open for a day and found nothing had been stolen upon their return home. them.

California residents like Raghavan are leaving the state for Texas, Virginia, Washington and Florida — places where their dollars have a greater impact on their budgets, according to the report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

“While 11.2% of homes in Los Angeles were affordable with this budget, using a 3% interest rate, that amount rose to about 72% in Houston and about 50% in Phoenix,” said the Los Angeles Time reported.

Additionally, California’s highest income tax rate is 13.3%, compared to Florida and Texas, where there is no income tax.

Matthew Kahn, an economics professor at the University of Southern California, said middle-class residents were being forced out of the state because of California’s strict adherence to “environmentalism”.

Kahn told the LA time:

People want to live here, but an unintended consequence of state environmentalism is that we don’t build enough housing in desirable downtown neighborhoods. Which distances the middle classes from the suburbs [and creates] long journeys. We don’t have road pricing to help with traffic congestion, and those headaches add up. So when you create the option to work from home, a lot of those people… say “enough is enough” and move to a less expensive metropolitan area.

Kahn added that San Francisco’s elites are “still able to hide in their bubble, but if the middle class sees that quality of life decline, that’s a push factor to leave.”

Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said California’s embrace of single-family zoning is also pushing residents out of the state.

“California has long prioritized single-family zoning, which allows people to stay in their homes longer because their property taxes don’t reflect true value,” Fairweather said, “California is the epicenter of housing shortage, so people have no choice but to move elsewhere.

For example, although the national median home sale price hit a record high of $416,000, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors, the median home price in California is over $800,000.

UCLA economics professor Lee Ohanian told the outlet that California “is at risk of becoming a state for very, very wealthy people and very, very low-income people who get aid from State, local and federal that allows them to live here.”

Another Californian, Kenny Phung, left the state for Oregon after finding housing for less than half the $3,600 he was paying in Los Angeles.

“It just didn’t make sense,” Phung said. “Why would I want to live in California when I work from home and pay an outrageous thing for such a small space when I can try things out and be able to save money on rent?”


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