California residents flee state for 3rd year in a row: Census Bureau

Those fleeing California included Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom's own in-laws.

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
300,000 California residents left the state in 2022, according to the US Census Bureau. This departure is more than any other state during that time period, per estimates tracked from July 2021 to July 2022. Those fleeing California included Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom's own in-laws.

This was the third consecutive annual decline for the Golden State, even with births outnumbering deaths. In 2020, California’s population contracted so badly that the drop, the first in state history, contributed to the state losing a seat in the House of Representatives.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, between 2015 and 2021, 413,000 adults cited housing costs as a primary reason they moved out of the state and the majority of those leaving were middle or low income residents.

The institute reported that 64 percent of adults in California cite housing affordability as “a big problem.”

Due to migration from other states, the South grew the most with Florida leading the way followed by Texas and North Carolina.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the exodus “may be partly attributable to work-from-home policies instituted during the pandemic” out of expensive housing markets to more affordable places.

California, Illinois, and New York lost the most residents. The Northeast and Midwest lost residents and the West gained residents, due to births which helped to overcome California’s net losses.

The Census Bureau also noted a slow increase in the US population coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the US population grew by approximately 1.3 million people, due mostly to the arrival of  over 1 million migrants:

According to the US Census Bureau’s Vintage 2022 national and state population estimates, the US resident population increased by 0.4 percent, or 1,256,003, to 333,287,557 in 2022.

The number of people moving in and out of the US added 1,010,923 people between 2021 and 2022, representing a 168.8 percent growth over 2021 totals of 376,029. Births minus deaths, which is referred to as “positive natural change” increased the US population by 245,080.

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