By Richard McGahey
December 31, 2021
My previous blog documented California’s 2020 population loss, the first time that’s happened since the state was founded. Billionaire Elon Musk has moved to Texas, but the biggest worry for the state is the loss of lower and middle-income residents, likely driven by California’s high housing costs. The state must fix its housing affordability problem for a more secure future.
Some media coverage claims the losses are among the wealthy. A Yahoo finance story claimed “millionaires and billionaires have fled California in droves,” driven not only by high taxes but “political correctness.”
But the Public Policy Institute of California shows that’s not the real problem. Rather, the Institute finds that “California has been losing lower- and middle-income residents to other states for some time while continuing to gain higher-income adults.”
The Institute, like other analysts, sees “the state’s high cost of living, driven almost solely by comparatively high housing costs” as a major culprit in the outmigration story. Without a bigger supply of more affordable housing, moderate income families will continue to be pushed out while new immigrants won’t be able to afford life in California.
Read more at Forbes