4 in 10 Californians Consider Getting Out

Most love their state, but many are contemplating a move
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2023 11:58 AM CDT
Californians Love Their State, but They're Still Mulling a Move
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Ridofranz)

With the 2024 election looming, California has a "contradiction" at play ahead of next year's polls: People there love their state, but many are also mulling packing it up and leaving. That's per the Los Angeles Times, which reports on a new survey that details what's become sticking points for disillusioned Golden Staters. The California Community Poll, a joint initiative between the Times and the Strategies 360 PR/comms firm, queried about 1,350 California adults between June 6 and June 16, and among its key findings was the fact that more than 70% of residents were happy living there, noting the state's diversity as a major factor that "brings people together around new ideas and vibrant communities."

Economic opportunities and a comfortable environment were also cited, and the Times notes that the state's natural and cultural attractions are also a draw. On the flip side, however, "Californians face deep economic anxieties," the poll notes. Locals are irked at how much they pay for health care, routine expenses, and rent and mortgages—in February, an economist told KABC that housing costs, especially in bigger coastal cities, had become "ridiculously high." Meanwhile, less than 30% of households making $50,000 to $100,000 per year feel they can live a decent lifestyle and still save a good chunk of money.

Plus, women and people of color say they're still regularly facing challenges, including discrimination, lack of access to good schools, and roadblocks on everything from getting jobs and receiving adequate pay, to being treated fairly by police. On ditching their home state, upward of 40% of those surveyed say they've contemplated making the move, with about half of those respondents saying they're thinking about it "very seriously"—and almost 30% of those polled say they'd consider leaving due to political differences. All of this has combined to make appealing to constituents a little tougher for the next round of candidates.

story continues below

"Voters who are anxious about the economy but happy with the cultural climate are a complicated challenge for candidates who have to appeal to those mixed feelings," USC political communications instructor Dan Schnur, who helped conduct the survey, tells the Times. So where are defecting Californians headed to? The PODS moving company says its data showed that Dallas is the top destination, followed by Seattle; Portland, Oregon; and Nashville, Tennessee. KABC, which notes the state's population lost more than 500,000 people between April 2020 and July 2022, talks to eight former Californians who've made the move to Texas over the past year to see if the grass was indeed greener on the other side. (More California stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.