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More than 500,000 people left California in two years: report

More than 500,000 people left California in two years: report

More than 500,000 Californians left the state in the two years after the pandemic began due to rising housing costs and overcrowded, crime-ridden cities, according to one report.

The number of people who left California between April 2020 and July 2022 surpassed the figure of more than 700,000 people, The Los Angeles Times reported,

According to The Times, unaffordable housing, long travel times, congestion, crime and pollution in urban areasโ€”which also suffer from homelessnessโ€”were the primary reasons people left.

The newspaper reported that the increase in remote employment, which allows people not to live near large cities for work, was also a factor in population change.

While out-of-state migration is slowing as the pandemic impacts, experts told The Times it could take years for California to recover before seeing again the population growth that made it the nation’s most populous state Gave.

Homeless Encampment in Skid Row, Los Angeles
Hundreds of thousands of Californians moved elsewhere because of the many social issues, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Between July 2021 and July 2022, California lost approximately 211,000 people, according to data from the California Department of Finance.

Half of those โ€“ 113,048 โ€“ were from Los Angeles County alone.

Los Angeles County – California’s largest county – has lost nearly 160,000 in the past 12 months, with most moving to other states.

Homeless tents are seen by new high-rise development alongside a freeway ramp in Los Angeles
California’s population loss between April 2020 and July 2022 was second only to New York State.
AFP via Getty Images

Dowell Myers, a professor of policy, planning and demography at the University of Southern California, told The Times that most of those leaving the state were city dwellers who moved with family to seek “safe haven during the pandemic”. Friend.

One of the biggest issues is California’s ability to retain the young people who move there.

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Myers said, “California” still attracts them, it just can’t hold them as well. Many young people come to California and find themselves with exorbitant rent costs before deciding to move to different states with cheaper housing.

“People who are leaving are more likely to own a home after they leave,” he explained.

Myers said lower housing prices, increased immigration and more births could drive up the state’s population.

Mountain lines line new homes in this Northwest Reno suburb near the California border
Mountain lines line new homes in this Northwest Reno suburb near the California border. Many Californians have left for cheaper housing in Nevada.
Getty Images

Myers told the paper that by 2023 he believes “the annual change will be very close to zero.” By 2024, it should be positive again, he said.

Paul Ong, director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge at the University of California Los Angeles, told The Times that many socioeconomic factors are pushing people out of the state, but housing costs were the biggest driving force.

โ€œWhile salaries are lower in other regions and states, housing costs are even lower,โ€ he said. “This means that they have a higher standard of living due to greater disposable income and/or a higher likelihood of being an owner.”

Many Californians have settled in neighboring states like Nevada and Utah – Utah is reportedly blocking Californians from moving in.

According to The Times, net migration from California surpassed that of the next highest state, New York, by about 143,000 people.

Although California added about 157,000 more people by natural changeโ€”the difference in numbers between births and deathsโ€”than New York, the Empire State’s population loss turned out to be greater.

Meanwhile, Texas gained approximately 884,000 people and Florida gained approximately 707,000 over the same time period.

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More New Yorkers moved to Florida in 2022 than any other year in history.

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