California's population is trickling away
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More and more native Californians have begun to consider relocating to other states. Between the years 2007 and 2016, about six million people moved away from California, while only about five million moved in. Of those moving away, Texas has received more than any other state, but Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington also see their fair share of Californians.
Ironically, the Golden State, first nicknamed due to the historical 1848 Gold Rush in which people flocked to the area due the hope and possibility of fortune, now is experiencing a decline in population growth due to exactly the same cause: namely, hope for an easier, brighter future elsewhere. These days, only those with relatively high income rates, high education levels such as graduate degrees, and high age ranges choose to enter the state.
Many see opportunity elsewhere simply because of cheaper living conditions in other states. For example, living expenses in Nevada are significantly cheaper than in California with Las Vegas sustaining an average home price of $249,000 compared to an average of almost quadruple ($923,000) in the Bay Area, according to KTNV News.
Westmont student Summer Escalera says her family is considering moving out of state due to expenses, a sense of overcrowdedness, and a perceived lack of social and economic progress. Her parents and grandparents have lived in the same city of Tulare, CA for almost the whole of their lives. Recently however, they have felt it is time for a change.
According to the Monterey County Herald, real estate agency owner Sandy Jamison reported that 90 percent of her clients are moving out of state. She noted that like Summer’s family, “a typical client has been in their home for decades, and no longer feels connected to the changing community.” Once a social landscape no longer feels familiar, what is left to keep a family from moving to a different state? The setting in the new state will simply be another type of unfamiliar.
The lack of population growth could also stem from the negativity President Trump has expressed towards immigrants, especially from Mexico, as well as an uncertainty about how the government will move forward with the DACA program. According to the First Tuesday Journal, over the last 25 years, immigrants have made up an average of 58 percent of the population increase in California, but recently the numbers have declined. It is yet to be seen how California will respond and adapt to these demographic shifts.