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The California Exodus Continues!

There is a major California exodus that is taking place.

A new report came out that 265 businesses have moved their headquarters out of the Golden State since 2018, 74 of those relocations happening in the first 6 months of 2021 and probably 10 more while you read this. Okay, I’m not so sure about that last number but you get the picture.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise since California is the most regulated and highest taxed state in the country at 13.3%.

So how many people are taking part in the California exodus?

The bluest of blue states has been bleeding residents for a while now. From 2007-2016 California lost a total of 5 million residents. In 2018 over 691,000 people moved out and just over 500,000 moved in.

According to the 2020 U-Haul migration trends, California ranked dead last where people were renting trucks and moving to. They won the race to the bottom since they were #49 the year before.

United Van Lines puts out an annual study showing the trends of migration across the country. Shockingly (or not), their latest study shows a California exodus. Of the total moves whether in or out of the state, inbounds only accounted for 41% of the moves while people leaving totaled 59% of the moves.

North American Moving Services showed an even grimmer picture in their latest migration report. In 2020, of total move-in and move-outs, the latter accounted for 64% of total moves and people coming into the state was only 36%.

That percentage has been falling over the last decade. In 2011 the move-in and move-outs were even at 50%.

Furthermore, for the first time in the state’s recorded history, there was a drop in population of 182,000 in 2020.

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California’s most populated cities, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco lost a total of 88,000 people last year.

Where are these people moving to and why?

“I’m seeing a lot of people from California move (to Tennessee) because they’re attracted to our lifestyle,” says Jeff Porter, U-Haul Company of Nashville president. “Tennessee has no income tax and is very business-friendly. There are plenty of jobs. People and companies are taking note. Places like Nashville, Murfreesboro and Clarksville are attracting tons of new residents. Nashville is ever-growing, and even the era of COVID-19 isn’t slowing that. We were seeing movement before the virus hit, but I think the situation has pushed a lot more people away from the West Coast to our state.”

“The best thing about Tennessee is the southern hospitality. People are decent to one another,” says Clay McQuade, U-Haul Company of Knoxville president. “I believe the draw to Tennessee is the rural atmosphere. The government is still not so oppressive on zoning and regulation, so people are able to build, and cities are friendly to business. Tourism is a big draw in this region, mostly for the Great Smoky Mountains. There’s plenty to do outdoors.”

Tennessee residents, no need to worry. The state stayed red by a large margin in 2020.

In 2018 my state of Texas gained a total of 86,000 people from California.

Other top states include Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon.

Idaho is a hotspot as well, ranking #10 in 2018. Idaho residents do not need to worry, in a poll of 1,000 newcomers from CA, 56% identified as Republican compared to 33% Democrat. Donald Trump won the state in a landslide in 2020, getting 64% of the vote.

The reasons people are leaving are not surprising. According to a UC Berkeley study of over 4,500 registered voters who have seriously thought about moving, 71% said the high cost of living is why they want to leave. 58% said the high tax rate and nearly half, 46%, said the state’s political climate is the reason they want to join the California exodus.

Bottom line

Look, I am originally from California myself and have many ties to the state. I try to visit every year or every other year but there is a reason I’ve stayed put here in Texas and have no plans to leave.

I do not think people coming to Texas from California is an issue, as many conservatives use the whole ” all these Californians coming here are gonna turn the state blue!” I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this statement with zero evidence to back it up. Read my post on this to put yourself at ease.

Are these trends permanent? It is anybody’s guess. Only time will tell.

On the bright side, California is often ranked the most beautiful state in the country. Let’s hope it stays that way.

By: Donovan Corzo, Mixed Texan Politics