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STUDY: Number of people moving to California drops significantly, people leaving the state continues to climb

According to a new study, the number of people moving to California has dropped significantly since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year. The number of people leaving the state is continuing to rise, researchers claim. 

“I guess I was a little bit surprised to see that entrances had fallen so much,” said co-author of the study from California Policy Lab, Evan White. “It wasn’t so much that we saw it in a particular area. For me, the surprise was that this was a statewide phenomenon.”

The report noted a 38 percent decrease in the number of people moving into California at the end of September 2021 in comparison to the end of March 2020. It also found a 12 percent uptick in the number of residents exiting the state. 

White said that while the heightened amount of those leaving the state is notable, “the bigger story” is the drop in those flocking to the state.

He noted that the biggest changes were found in the San Francisco Bay Area. That region showed a 45 percent decrease in entrances form other states to the Bay Area and a 21 percent increase in those residents opting to leave for another state.

The state’s capitol, Sacramento County, also recorded significant changes, with a 33 percent drop in people moving in and a 13 percent increase in people exiting for other states.

Despite the outcome of this study, a spokesperson for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said that other repeated studies found “the California exodus is a myth,” even after the state had some of the heaviest coronavirus restrictions in the country.

“California’s economy grew at a 4.7 percent annual rate in the past quarter-century compared with a 4 percent U.S. growth, and more recently, California’s economy expanded at 3.9 percent annually in the last 5 years vs 2.9 percent annually,” the spokesperson said.

“Bloomberg ranked California’s economy as # 1 in the country, pointing to GDP growth, investments in innovation, household income growth, and other key metrics. This year, we’ve seen nearly 100 IPOs already with dozens more announced from California-based companies and billions in investments are getting poured into the state.” 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK TIMES

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