Top 5 Reasons People are Moving Out of California

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California has long been a beacon of opportunity, with its diverse landscape and thriving economy. But in recent years, the state has seen a massive exodus of residents. More than 340,000 people left California in 2022 alone. 

Why has the Golden State lost its luster? In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons, including the high cost of living and extreme weather conditions.

5 reasons Americans are moving out of California

  1. Cost of living

It’s no mystery that living in California is expensive; the average annual cost of living in 2023 is just over $50,000, making it the second to least affordable state. If you can manage to find a home, expect to pay a hefty price:

  • The median home sale price in the state is over $800,000 and over $1 million in cities like San Francisco and San Jose.
  • The average monthly rent prices for apartments range from $2,200 to over $5,000.

Beyond simple shelter, groceries, transportation and childcare are all well above the national average.

  1. State taxes

California also has one of the highest tax rates, with income tax rates between one and 13.3%, depending on your household income. And these rates will rise over the coming years. 

The statewide sales tax is 7.25%, but some cities and counties have additional district taxes. California also has a gasoline tax of around $0.50 per gallon.

  1. Unemployment rates

Many relocate to California with high professional hopes and dreams, whether it’s to get a job at in Silicon Valley, in Hollywood as an on-screen star or working behind-the-scenes—or anything in between. Unfortunately, not all dreams become reality, and the state is ranked number 39 in employment rates of all states in the U.S. as of December 2022.

  1. Weather and climate

Historically known for its sunny, temperate weather, California has seen an increase in extreme climate events in recent years: droughts, consecutive days of 100+ degree temperatures and wildfires with smoke spreading hundreds of miles. Undesirable and often unpredictable conditions are predicted to become worse moving forward.

  1. Work-from-home opportunities

Although California is home to headquarters or corporate offices for many large tech companies and startups, the increasing trend of remote work—plus conferencing software and other communication tools—means people can work for a California-based company from essentially anywhere. And since they’re not forced to stay in state, many are choosing to relocate to more affordable locations—Texas being one of the most popular destinations.

Where to next?

If you’re ready to escape the excessive costs and temperatures of California, the first thing to do is determine what new location to make home. You’ve got options in all areas of the country; some of the most affordable states to live in include:

  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Ohio
  • Texas
  • Tennessee
  • Wyoming

Looking for more inspiration? Find out which states are attracting the most new residents.

Image collage of a map of the United States, car hauler, and person working at computer.

The prospect of moving across the country—or even just a state or two away—is overwhelming, especially if you have a partner and/or kids coming along. Outsource what you can so you’re able to focus on the most important steps of the moving process. 

Montway Auto Transport specializes in cross-country car shipping, helping thousands of Americans move their vehicles to their new homes safely and affordably. Learn more by calling a shipping advisor at 888-666-8929 or request a quote to get started.

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