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New Data Shows California Exodus Fueled By Domestic Migration, Not Covid

For sale sign hanging in front of house

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The nonpartisan California Policy Lab found no big exodus of people leaving California for other states during the COVID pandemic, instead domestic migration is to blame for population loss.

The number of people moving to California from other states is down 38% since the spring of 2020. Additionally, the number of Californians leaving the state went up 12% since March 2020. New entrances to the state have dropped in every county since the end of March 2020. When Californians do move, researchers said they are slightly more likely to leave the state than they were before the start of the pandemic.“The public’s attention has been focused on the so-called ‘CalExodus’ phenomenon, but the reality is that the dramatic drop in ‘CalEntrances’ since the pandemic began has been a bigger driver of recent population changes in the state,” Natalie Holmes, research fellow at the California Policy Lab, said in a statement.

Researchers found that since the end of March 2020, new entrances to Bay Area counties have dropped faster than in other parts of the state. A growing number of families have moved inland over the last few years, data shows, fueled by the hunt for more open space, a sense of community and affordable housing.

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