More Than 40 Percent of Californians Considering Leaving the State, Poll Finds

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More than 40 percent of residents say they’re contemplating moving out of California, with nearly half of them saying they’re considering that ‘very seriously,’” the Los Angeles Times reported June 23.

The poll of 1,354 Californians was conducted by a partnership between Strategies 360 and the Los Angeles Times, The Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, and the Los Angeles Urban League.

The poll also found that satisfaction with the state economy has dropped 12 percentage points since 2020, including five points since last year. “Residents are largely dissatisfied with the cost of their healthcare, the amount they pay for their home, and the cost of everyday living expenses (18 percent satisfied, 81 percent dissatisfied),” according to the pollster’s summary of the survey. “The data also suggests that Californians personally feel less financially secure than they did in previous years: only 28 percent of those in households making $50k-$100k annually report that they can live comfortably and save an adequate amount of money for the future, down from 54 percent who said the same in early 2020. Similarly, just 57 percent of those in households making over $100k annually say they can live comfortably and save an adequate amount of money for the future, down from 77 percent who said the same in early 2020.”

While the finding that four in 10 Californians are considering leaving was included in the headline of the Times story, it is not mentioned on the pollster’s website as a “key finding.” The site instead focuses on a result that gives a more favorable impression, stating: “Despite the financial strain, most residents are happy living in California – and the state’s diversity is a central reason why. Robust majorities of residents across regional, demographic, and racial lines feel happy about living in California (71 percent), report that living in California is important to their personal identities (68 percent), and say California is a place where they fit in and feel comfortable (68 percent).”

Among the 40 percent who said they are considering leaving, approximately 61 percent cited the high cost of living as the reason.

“People of color are far more likely to say that the expense of living in California is the reason they might leave,” the Times reported. “About 71 percent of residents who are either Black or Asian/Pacific Islander and considering relocating cited the cost of living.”

The poll was conducted from June 6 to June 16 in English and Spanish. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.