California exodus continues as conservative states attract blue state residents: report

Californians fleeing the blue state due to the high cost of living show no signs of slowing down, according to the latest report from a major moving and storage company.

“The Golden State has a reputation for imposing high sales, income and property taxes. The cost of living is approximately 50% higher in California than the national average, and housing costs can be prohibitive.” , according to a report on moving trends for 2024. published by PODS.

The report, released May 20, finds that more and more people are moving to the southern Appalachian region, which includes parts of South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, all conservative states.

“California is number one in all the bad things,” Will Swaim, president of the conservative think tank California Policy Center, told Fox News Digital on Friday. “Add to that regulations that make building new homes almost impossible, and it’s no wonder people are moving.”

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California still remains at the top of the list for most outbound movements according to the new PODS report. (MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images / ContributorRobert Alexander / Contributor)

Businesses also get their share of the pie. The study says companies are clustering in southern Sun Belt states like Texas, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina and Tennessee, according to data collected at Iron Mountain. For what? Because these regions “offer lower operational costs, tax incentives and better employee value.”

Los Angeles and San Francisco rank among the top two cities where the most residents are moving.

Terry Gilliam, the founder of the popular Facebook group “Leaving California” which has hundreds of thousands of members, told Fox News Digital in an interview that the list confirms “you’re not just getting the wealthy taxpayers, but the taxpayers of the middle class”. are leaving.”

“California is number one in all the bad things.”

— Will Swaim, California Politics Center

“I think that’s what California has been doing for many years, is eliminating the middle class, and Governor Newsom loves to brag about how California’s economy is in the top five in the world , then he bragged about the fact that there are now more Fortune 500 companies based in California than anywhere else in the country,” Gilliam said. “But it’s for the rich, and really, it’s the middle class that’s suffering in California, and that’s why they’re leaving.”

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Homeless statistics from a screenshot from Fox News Channel

Homelessness in California under Governor Gavin Newsom increased from 151,000 in 2019 to 181,000 in 2024. (Fox)

Gilliam and his band members went on a 10-day tour of the South, he said, and spoke to people in every town who had left California.

“And really what matters is the quality of life of their family, a lower cost of living, better schools, a policy that corresponds to what they feel in these southern cities,” he said. he declared.

According to the report, four California markets ranked in the top 10 for most outbound moves, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Stockton-Modesto.

“The different locations of these cities indicate that this is a statewide exodus,” the report concludes.

California experienced its first-ever population decline in 2020 when the state imposed rigid lockdown measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. From January 2020 to July 2022, the state lost more than half a million people, with the number of residents leaving outnumbering those who arrived by nearly 700,000.

In January, California topped the U-Haul Growth Index list for having the largest net outbound movements in 2023.

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California coast

View of the Pacific Coast, Northern California (Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

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A spokesperson for Governor Newsom’s office pointed out that Fox News Digital in an email to the International Monetary Fund’s Global Economic Outlook report “noted that California remains the 5th largest economy in the world by seventh consecutive year, with a nominal GDP of almost $3.9 trillion in 2023 and a growth rate of 6.1% since the previous year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

“California’s GDP per capita is second among major economies,” Newsom’s office said. “California, which has the fairest tax system in the nation, is the nation’s No. 1 state for new business startups, No. 1 for access to venture capital financing, and No. 1 state for manufacturing. manufacturing, high technology and agriculture.

Nikolas Lanum of Fox News Digital contributed to this report.

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