California’s population shrank for the third year in a row as a result of growing housing costs and people’s perceptions that their money doesn’t go as far as it once did.
A recent statewide poll indicates that the trend may continue as many Californians are now seriously considering leaving the Golden State due to the state’s widening financial gap.
According to a survey by Strategies 360, 40% of Californians are seriously considering leaving the state, along with the Los Angeles Times and three community organizations.
In the survey, more than 1,300 people were given their opinions on a variety of issues, including the state’s diversity, economy, and general contentment with living in California.
Cost of Living
Despite the fact that more than two-thirds of those surveyed expressed happiness in their choice to live in California, 4 in 10 indicated they were considering moving away, with the majority citing the state’s high cost of living as the primary reason.
61% of those who were thinking about leaving California cited the high cost of living as their reason, while 27% cited the state’s politics as their reason. White people expressed this worry in greater numbers than any other racial group, accounting for one-third of those who said they wanted to relocate to a place where their political views are more reflected.
In the most recent poll, satisfaction with the California economy also experienced a significant decline, falling by 12 points from a poll taken in 2020 and by 5 points from the previous year.
In recent years, the majority of Californians have also felt less financially secure; 72% of households earning between $50,000 and $100,000 per year believe they cannot afford to live comfortably and invest for the future. Less than half of households in that same income range reported these issues just three years prior.
Diversity is Positive
However, according to those surveyed, California’s diversity is one reason why the state is growing.
According to a 20-point margin of residents, the state’s diversity “brings people together around new ideas and vibrant communities” as opposed to “creating tension and division between groups who have different needs and priorities,” pollsters discovered.
The majority of individuals surveyed praised the state’s and their particular communities’ diversity and asserted that they thought this was a key factor in why they were happy to reside in California. Numerous people claimed that in their local communities and far better than the country as a whole, relations between different ethnic groups were outstanding.
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Many persons of color who were surveyed claim that they continue to experience racial discrimination and are less satisfied with their access to respectable employment opportunities, secure neighborhoods, top-notch educational institutions, and fair treatment by law enforcement.
1,354 adults in California were surveyed in total, and quotas were set up to make sure that the respondents fairly represented the state’s diversity in terms of age, gender, color, location, and educational attainment. Click here to learn more about the process.
According to U.S. Census figures, the population of California has decreased by around 500,000 since 2020.
During that time, more than half of California’s 58 counties saw population decreases, with many counties in Southern California and the Bay Area — two areas of the state where living expenses are among the highest in the nation — experiencing the largest drops.
According to the poll’s findings, the majority of Californians who relocate are doing so reluctantly, despite claims made by conservative leaders in other parts of the country that the state’s liberal or “woke” policies are unpopular statewide and that some residents are leaving California voluntarily because of politics.
California is a costly place to live, but for those who can manage it, the state’s natural beauty, limitless amenities, thriving neighborhoods, and cultural centers seem to make it worthwhile.
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