New Data Warns California’s Exodus Could Get Worse

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: Jun 17, 2024

New data from a tech company has revealed that California’s ongoing exodus may continue — and get even worse in the near future.

For the past few years, many Californians have chosen to move out of the Golden State and live in another state, thanks to factors like high housing costs, high cost of living, and an increase in crime. Now, it appears that this exodus likely won’t end anytime soon.

A Fluctuating California Population

Earlier this year, analysts had theorized that California’s exodus may have come to an end, as the population in the state grew for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many people riding bikes and walking on the street of Santa Monica, California.

Source: Jack Finnigan/Unsplash

However, now, various reports have emerged suggesting that more people are looking to flee the state — perhaps even as early as this summer, as many people move during the summer season.


Looking at Relocation Routes

MoveBuddha, a relocation tech company, recently released data that analyzes how people look at various relocation routes in the United States.

Men putting large objects into a moving truck.

Source: Robinson Greig/Unsplash

According to this new information, relocation routes stemming from California and heading to another state encompass much of the most popular searches on the platform.

Moving From California

For example, if people living in Los Angeles were looking to see what it would be like — and what it would cost — to move from LA to Dallas, Texas, they could use moveBuddha to gain a better understanding of this potential move.

A person holding a large moving box in the doorway of a home.

Source: HiveBoxx/Unsplash

With all of this data, moveBuddha has been able to anticipate migration patterns in the U.S. Now, the company has shown that Californians are looking to move out of the state again.

The Most Popular Relocations

This data reveals that out of the ten most popular relocation searches, five revolve around a route leaving a California metro area.

People walking around a busy New York City street filled with lights and cars.

Source: Andreas Niendorf/Unsplash

The most popular metropolitan move route according to this moveBuddha data is from Los Angeles, California to New York, New York.

Los Angeles Natives Are Fleeing

Of the five most popular California exits, Los Angeles relocations rank the highest. MoveBuddha claims that more people in Los Angeles want to move out of the city — as shown in these searches — than any other Golden State city.

A street filled with parked cars and homes, with downtown tall Los Angeles buildings seen in the distance.

Source: Dillon Shook/Unsplash

San Francisco is the next runner-up. However, Los Angeles relocations still dominate, as there are 42% more outbound searches from LA than from San Francisco.


Relocations Per Capita

However, moveBuddha also analyzes data per capita, which changes things slightly. Per capita, more people want to relocate out of San Francisco than any other California city.

A row of old historic and colorful homes seen in San Francisco in the daytime.

Source: Joshua Sortino/Unsplash

Los Angeles has a much bigger population than San Francisco. This may be why they have more people looking to move out of the city and find a new home elsewhere, whereas San Francisco takes home the prize per capita.


Where LA Residents Are Looking to Move

Those looking to move out of Los Angeles in the near future are looking to move to a few different states. The top relocation destination for LA residents is Dallas, Texas.

A bird’s eye view of downtown Dallas, Texas seen in the daytime.

Source: R K/Unsplash

However, relocations from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and Seattle are also very popular, as seen in this data.


San Jose Exits

While much of this data deals with exits from those who live in Los Angeles and San Francisco, other California cities may also see a mass migration in the near future.

People sitting inside in front of a view of downtown San Jose, California.

Source: Trisha Mendoza/Unsplash

For example, one of the top searches on moveBuddha revolves around people in San Jose looking to move. Popular relocations for those in San Jose include Seattle and Austin.


People Wanting to Move to California

Many people may be looking to move out of California in the near future. However, some of this new data has also revealed that Americans are looking to relocate to California, too.

A bird’s eye view of people on a beach with palm trees in the distance in California.

Source: Gustavo Zambelli/Unsplash

The third most popular route searched for on moveBuddha was from New York to Los Angeles. Per capita, one of the top searches was from Seattle to San Francisco.


Why People Are Moving Out of California

Californians have decided to leave the Golden State behind for a slew of reasons. Many natives have begun to feel that the state has become increasingly expensive to live in.

The silhouettes of palm trees seen during sunset in California.

Source: Viviana Rishe/Unsplash

The cost of living in California has skyrocketed in just the last few years. This has caused the price of homes to rise quickly, which has priced regular residents out of the housing market.


California’s Homelessness Crisis

California is also dealing with an ongoing homelessness crisis, a situation which is only fueled as the cost of homes and rent continues to rise to astronomical prices.

A homeless tent seen on a sidewalk of Los Angeles.

Source: Levi Meir Clancy/Unsplash

All of this has led to many people deciding to find a much cheaper home — and a more affordable cost of living — in states like Texas.