People Going to These Great Cities After Leaving California

People moved all over the country because of the pandemic. Loss of jobs, a new attitude of working from home, and changing priorities pushed people out of expensive cities and states, especially California. The Los Angeles Times said that between April 2020 and July 2022, more than 700,000 people left California than came to live there. Between July 2021 and July 2022, a record 407,000 people moved out of California. Also, more than 343,000 people left California in 2022—more than any other state in the U.S.

It’s easy to blame the pandemic, but the Department of Finance says that California has had trouble keeping residents for 20 years. California used to be the golden child for a growing population, but since 2000, every year people have moved to other states instead.

So why do people choose to leave California? To put it simply, the main reason is that California costs a lot. The Golden State is usually one of the five most expensive states in the country. In 2023, it ranks as the second most expensive state.

Zillow says that the average price of a home in California is $747,400. Costs have been pretty stable lately (down 0.8% in the state since last year), but they’ve gone through the roof since October 2018, when they were only $538,000! The rising costs of housing, transportation, and living, along with more crime, pollution, and traffic, have led many people to move to states and places that are cheaper to live in.

A lot of businesses have also left California. The Hoover Institution released a report in 2022 that says between 2018 and 2022, 352 companies will leave California and move their headquarters to another state. People who are leaving say that the high rent, high taxes, high costs of living for workers, and a lot of red tape are some of the reasons. From 2019 to May 2023, the number of shops in San Francisco’s Union Square dropped from 207 to 107. The center now has a 47 percent vacancy rate.

Cities for People Leaving California

Where are most Californians moving? More and more people from California are leaving the state for the beautiful Pacific Northwest and the warm weather of the Southeast. People moving out of California most often go to places like Dallas, Seattle, Portland, Nashville, and Boise.

Here is a more in-depth look at these top city facts and general appeal:

Dallas, TX

  • Cost of living: 101 (17% lower than Sacramento)
  • Median household income: $58,200 (18% lower than Sacramento)
  • Average home value: $306,900 (35% lower than Sacramento)
  • Average rent (one-bedroom): $1,600 (15% lower than Sacramento)

In just a few years, Dallas has surpassed Austin as the most popular place for people to move from California to Texas. Dallas has a typical household income that is 35% less than Sacramento’s. Also, Dallas has a lower cost of living throughout the year. Dallas also has much lower housing costs than Sacramento. For example, a one-bedroom rental costs 15% less there, and homes are worth 35% less there. In the end, this means getting more for your money and living a better life.

Seattle, WA

  • Cost of living: 167.8 (31% lower than San Francisco)
  • Median household income: $105,391 (16% lower than San Francisco)
  • Average home value: $826,592 (34% lower than San Francisco)
  • Average rent (one-bedroom): $2,260 (32% lower than San Francisco)

When it comes to living and health care, moving from San Francisco to Seattle will help your money go further. Even though the average income is only about $20,000 less in Seattle, you’ll save that much on rent and be able to cut your overall cost of living by almost half. People may move to Seattle because it’s one of the more expensive places in the Pacific Northwest, but people from San Francisco will find it much more affordable.

Portland, OR

  • Cost of living: 132.4 (25% lower than Los Angeles)
  • Median household income: $78,476 (12% more than Los Angeles)
  • Average home value: $528,119 (54% lower than Los Angeles)
  • Average rent (one-bedroom): $1,763 (43% lower than Los Angeles)

It might surprise you to learn that the average income in Portland is $8,700 more than in Los Angeles. Californians will find it easy to live a better life in Portland because of the lower cost of living and housing costs. For example, getting a one-bedroom apartment in Portland costs more than $1,000 less than in California, and the average home value is about $395,000 less.

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