Written by T. Logan Dayne
The stark reality that California’s population was in decline, shown by the 2020 census in which for the first time in history, California lost a house seat (and by extension an electoral vote), was something that several outlets such as the San Francisco Chronicle tried to dismiss. This only highlights the denial by many who are least affected by lockdowns and the price of living in the “Golden State”. The California Exodus is very real though and is only being exacerbated by further increases in the cost of living. Although prices are rising everywhere, Californians will see some of the sharpest rises in the cost of goods thanks to policies set by Governor Gavin Newsom and other leaders.
There are few better examples of this than the population decline of San Diego. Even the beautiful beaches and weather of San Diego could not justify the price of living for many as the population dropped a few thousand below estimate. The numbers for San Diego are in the red according to the U.S. Census Bureau and may be part of a continuing trend.
Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Alameda counties are all in the top 10 counties not just in California but in the nation which suffered the largest declines in population. San Francisco and Los Angeles suffer from a myriad of problems in the last couple of years including major crime spikes and homelessness which may contribute to the exodus of many individuals and even businesses. Among these major cities however, San Diego still ranks much safer and is well below many medians in terms of crime.
As of now, San Diego will have lost over 12,000 residents. As to where they go there is yet little information on that. Trends show that Utah, Idaho, and Arizona are gaining residents en masse. Maricopa County Arizona for example has gained nearly 60,000 new residents along with 5 counties in Texas and some in Florida as well. What these states have in common and why so many would move to them remains a mystery.
Photo Cred: Getty Images/ Forbes