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Why Are People Fleeing California?

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California was once like New York, where people dreamed of living their best lives.

A picture of California
Source: Pinterest

However, in recent years, there has been a considerable increase in people leaving the Golden State. Why is this happening? 

California Then vs. Now

The Golden State used to be a dream location for people. From its beaches to its Hollywood stars and numerous attractions, people loved California very much. 

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Hollywood, California
Source: Pinterest

However, over the past couple of years, the state’s economy and infrastructure have changed significantly. Compared to earlier years, California is not what it used to be for several reasons. 

High Cost of Living

The high cost of living in California is probably the biggest reason for the large number of people leaving the state. Although the cost of living has always been high, it has increased drastically in recent years. 

High costs
Source: Pinterest

For many reasons, people are facing increased amenities, housing, and even food costs. Therefore, inflation affects residents and causes them to leave for more favorable places. 


The cost of housing and rent has skyrocketed over the years, making it a massive problem for many. Their solution is to move to cheaper and more affordable places. 

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Housing crisis
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In addition, there is a housing shortage in California as well. Homelessness has increased, and although the government is trying its best to curb it, the problem has caused people to flee the state. 


California’s tax rates rise every year. In fact, the state is famous for its exceedingly high tax rates compared to other states like Texas. 

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Initially, it didn’t affect the state’s residents much, but as inflation and the cost of living have increased, the taxes have become unbearable for many. Therefore, they had to leave.

Job Opportunities

Cities like Silicon Valley have thrived in California, creating job opportunities. However, the variety of job opportunities available is limited. For those who would like to broaden their horizons, they have to look outside the state. 

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Job opportunities
Source: Pinterest

Furthermore, there are better, higher-paying jobs in other states in the country compared to California. 

ALSO READ: California’s Economic Struggles Under Gavin Newsom Sends a Warning to the Rest of the Country

Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Just like the state used to provide many job opportunities, the opposite is true for its entrepreneurial world. California is one of the most challenging places to start a business from scratch. 

A female entrepreneur
Source: Pinterest

Therefore, residents who want to build their businesses have no choice but to try it elsewhere. They move to less restrictive states like Florida and Texas. 


California has a lot of traffic, especially in some of the biggest cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s a terrible traffic situation that only rivals that of New York. 

Traffic in the city
Source: Pinterest

Nobody likes to be stuck in traffic, especially the working class. For this reason, residents also migrate away from the state, going to less populated ones. 

POLL — Should the Government Increase Taxes on the Wealthy To Reduce Economic Inequality?

Environmental Issues

Tourists know California as the beautiful Golden State because it is aesthetically pleasing. However, the reality for its residents is quite different. 

Air pollution
Source: Pinterest

Recently, the state has been subject to many harsh weather conditions and environmental issues. These range from wildfires to horrible droughts to heat waves, and its residents are facing many challenges. Therefore, many of them would rather leave than continue to endure the harsh conditions. 

ALSO READ: Mackenzie Scott on a Mission To Battle Unaffordable Housing in California

Water Worries

For a very long time, California has struggled with water issues. While some people left because of its harsh weather conditions, many are worried about water scarcity. 

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Only recently did the state emerge from a serious drought thanks to unstable water resources. Therefore, people are moving from the Golden State to other areas of the country. 

Political Differences

As political beliefs vary widely across states, California is no different. The state is famous for being liberal and quite progressive. California is generally a blue state compared to Texas, which is red. 

The American flag
Source: Pinterest

Therefore, people who disagree with the state’s predominant political views are moving away. They settle in other states that share their political views. 

ALSO READ: Are Gen Z and Millennials Unprepared For The Housing and Job Markets?


As the cost of living in California is high, most retirees would rather not stay in California. This makes sense as they would not have to spend a large amount of their retirement savings on the state’s high costs. 

Retirees working out
Source: Pinterest

Therefore, senior citizens and retirees are moving to more affordable states. Unlike California, they can enjoy their funds for a longer period of time elsewhere. 

Better Quality of Life

A high cost of living and housing does not encourage a high quality of life. Therefore, many people are fleeing the state to states that work more in their favor. 

A city in Philadelphia
Source: Pinterest

For many reasons, people are finding other states more comfortable. As humans love comfort, it is understandable why people are moving out of the state at an alarming rate. 

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