Is California Turning Into 1980s Detroit?

October 18, 2019
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Photo by Filios Sazeides on Unsplash

The California Dream isn’t the magnet it once was as 2.2 million residents have left the state since 2002, and a new poll indicates that the exodus may not stop.

A University of California-Berkley survey of 4,500 registered voters conducted in mid-September found that more than half of respondents are thinking about leaving the state. Twenty-four percent were giving the action “serious consideration” and 28% were giving the moves “some consideration.”

The poll divided the state into six areas but the results were fairly consistent. The core of the state's largest urbanization, Los Angeles County just under half (49%) are considering leaving the state. To the south, Orange and San Diego counties were combined in the analysis and their 50% of the households are considering leaving. The rest of Southern California, 56% of the households are considering moving out of the state. This area, dominated by a metropolitan area, Riverside – San Bernardino, is almost as large populous as metropolitan San Francisco and is the fastest growing major metropolitan area in the state.

Much of the state's economic growth has occurred during this decade in the San Francisco Bay area, which includes the San Francisco and San Jose metropolitan areas. Yet even in this area, indisputably the world's leading tech center, half of the residents (50%) are considering moving out of the state. The rest of Northern California has the least unhappy households, with only 46% considering an interstate move. Of course, this was before PG&E cut off electricity to much of the area last week to reduce the risk of setting off more wildfires.

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