California Has an Outmigration Problem

Recent Census Bureau data tell a story that surprises no one who keeps up with current events in California: The state is losing residents like few others. According to economist Mark J. Perry, only four other states – New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Louisiana – had a greater net outflow in 2019.

Using Census numbers, Perry ranked the top 10 inbound and outbound states, and then looked at how each “compared on a variety of measures of business climate, individual and corporate tax burdens, state fiscal health, electricity and housing costs, economic performance, and labor market dynamism.” What he found will, again, surprise no one. The top 10 outbound states have higher taxes, poor business climates, more expensive housing and energy costs, and lower economic and job growth. And they are, with the exception of Louisiana, blue states.

Here’s a quick California-centric overview:

  • Only four states in the outbound category have a higher state-local tax burden as a percentage of income than California’s. This state has the highest individual income tax rate (at 13.3%, no one is even close) and third-highest corporate tax rate (8.84%).
  • Even though most Californians live in temperate zones, only Connecticut has higher electricity costs, and the difference isn’t worth debating – 18.47 cents per kilowatt hour compared to 18.46 cents).
  • Homes are by far more expensive in California, with the 2020 median price at $586,659. Massachusetts is next at $457,192.
  • Only Louisiana and New Mexico have higher 2019 jobless rates than California’s 4.1%.
  • At 1.5%, the rate of job growth in California is second in terms of success only to New Mexico’s 1.6%, but it nevertheless lags every top 10 inbound state in job growth but Oklahoma, which has a rate of 0.8%. The average for the 10 inbound states, nine of which are right-to-work states, is 2.1%.

Perry didn’t include economic freedom when compiling his list, but it is not without significance. California lands at 47th in the Fraser Institute’s 2020 rankings of economic freedom in North America. New York is dead last. Other states from Perry’s outbound list found in the bottom half of the Fraser list include Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois, and New Mexico. This is not a coincidence.

While the wealthy continue to live well in California – more billionaires, 165, call this state home than any other – the middle class sees better opportunities elsewhere. And flees. As do businesses.

The heavy outmigration is likely to result in the loss of a congressional seat (and an Electoral College vote), probably from the Los Angeles region, reducing the state’s House delegation to 52. It would be the first time in California’s history that it dropped a congressional seat. Several other top 10 outbound states – Illinois, Michigan, New York – will probably lose House seats, as well.

Meanwhile, Texas, which has no state income or corporate taxes, lightly regulates commerce, and welcomes businesses, might gain three.

The official line out of Sacramento and most city halls and county board rooms, adopted by much of the media and repeated by supporters of the blue state model, says there’s nothing to see here, California is doing just fine. But the many residents and businesses that have left, and those that realize they will eventually have to as well, recognize this is true only for the extraordinarily wealthy and the bulk of the political class, which seems as if it’s going to be the last to know that it’s created an enormous problem.

Kerry Jackson is a fellow with the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.

This article was originally published by the Pacific Research Institute.


  1. Brenda Torres says

    Liberals leaving Blue States because the Cost to live there and Taxes are Much Higher and going to Red States because their Economy is more favorable…Then they continue to Vote Blue!!! How long will it take to for those States to turn Blue….Well, it didn’t take long by the looks of this last election….

    • Jesus Beltran says

      Brenda Torres, don’t tell me you are in line with all these racist scum, pussy grabbers who have been exploiting, enslaving, killing, incarcerating your ancestors for centuries. If any of these racist mother fuckers saw you drowning in the ocean, they would make sure to hold you down until you die. Open your eyes, querida. Don’t be a Malinchista. Don’t sell out your own family, my chiquitina. Think! Por eso Dios te dio` un cerebro. Usalo para mejorarte. No lo uses para empeorarte.

  2. Shane Conway says

    I made the move 5 years ago and haven’t looked back. Not only was I able to buy a nicer, bigger home, but I save an average of $30 per gas station visit while my electric bill averages around $52 per month. Additionally, people here speak English and are much more friendly.

    California turned into a third-world country years ago. Now, I’m home!


  4. The more affluent have no financial problems with the regressive energy policies that have serious consequences for working families. With California already having among the highest costs for electricity and fuels in the country, the affluent can continue to easily absorb those costs into their budgets. On the other hand, for those that can least afford expensive energy, the homeless and poverty populations continue to grow in the Golden state, and our Governor is doing everything possible to further INCREASE the costs for electricity and fuels. Go figure….

  5. We left Kommiefornia three years ago. Sold our properties, closed all our accounts with local banks, and took everything of value to us out of the state.

    We have a much nicer house, a lot three times as big, our property taxes are half, gasoline and electricity are much less expensive, food is less expensive, and you rarely see any of the permanent “entitled victim-class” people.

  6. I understand the desire to leave California. One of the problems with this is that some of those leaving are Liberals who move to an Idaho (or a similar state) and vote like they did here in California thus “infecting” their new home state.
    I have come to the realization that California is a lost cause. I know this pains many of us, but it is time we understand that our ideas have lost. In addition, we will never have the votes to turn it around. However, I grew up here and I will stay. It is no longer about winning elections, it is about finding ways to live your life without letting our government destroy us.

  7. Start by recalling The Supreme Commander, Pretty Boy Newsom.

    • Easier said than done. communist democrats rig elections, cheat and, lie. Its who they are.

      • Jesus Beltran says

        Speaking of racist evil,
        It reminds me of a snake
        That preys on children
        Of the lesser God.
        It currently lives
        On Capitol Hill
        Disguised as the
        Pussy Grabbing in Chief.
        It has poisoned the minds
        Of millions of other retards
        Racist, dragging snakes
        Like it.
        If our planet
        Is ought to survive.
        We must nip it,
        And all its
        Pandemic Virus despair.
        Before it poisons
        All the oxygen
        And racist, polluted
        contaminated air.

        The racist pussy grabbers and pussy grabbees are leaving California because they are too racist animals who can’t live among civilized human beings they hate and consider their inferiors.
        They should do better than that, they should back to the racist rat hole the crawled from or under. Maybe Germany in Adolph Hitler’s time. Or maybe Italy in Benito Mussolini’s time. Or maybe Ireland in the potato famine’s time. . Maybe they should start a revolution in another planet because these racist mother flowers hate even themselves, racist scum.

      • Jesus Beltran says

        Eddie, good old boy. Would you like me to get you an appointment with Mr. Xavier Becerra or your local U.S. Federal DA so you can file a legal complaint and so you can show them the evidence and proof you have of the rigged elections. Like I told you before, you remind me of your girlfriend Donatella Juanita Dumbfrp. She told all her racist idiots, zombies, cult, brain dead followers to vote twice for her…and now she is claiming that 90 millions of smart human beings who did not vote for her, committed fraud. You racist pendejos crack me up. Eat more beans, they are good for your brains. 🙂

  8. After being lifetime residents we ripped off the bandaid and left CA and it wasn’t due to having enough money to live there. Part of what makes a place great to live are the people and culture both of which the leaders have worked hard to ruin. People are people but the leaders of CA have made residents edgy and rightly so given those leaders keep shifting the ground residents live on. We worked hard for our money and the leaders take it (I should say steal it) with little or nothing to show for it. It is like giving a dollar to the nephew you love but he then he spends it on drugs and has nothing to show and then gives a lot of promises for next time. I say any stop of a loss is a gain and that not only applies to your money but also your soul both of which CA is willing to waste. CA is somewhat ghetto everywhere now. Think far outside of the financial component of leaving CA and look at the other gains (ie a much improved public square). It was hard to leave but now that we are on the other side we moved up our quality of life in all aspects and only wish we had done it sooner. The leaders are masters of keeping just enough feeling for residents to be alive but not thrive.

  9. Jesus Beltran says

    I have news for all these racist Satan’s abortions, no matter where you move in our planet, you will no longer be allowed to own slaves, racist mother flowers..

  10. Jesus Beltran says

    This message is for Melocoton, Maricon. I don’t think you have the cojones to start a revolution. I am 100% sure you are another racist, yellow belly coward fawhat like the racist, pussy grabber who faked injuries to avoid fighting for the country he claims to love. The racist mother fucker on top of being a tax-dodger, he is also a draft dodger. I should know he is a coward, one of my best friends who was an Italiano who grew up with this racist, closeted homosexual, personally knew the racist bitch and IT whole racist, drug addicted, drunk family. It is a fake fraud and It knows it. All you racist mother fuckers vote for him because your racist cunt gets all wet and aroused whet It locks-up Latino and Black children in cages. Yo are as sick as Hitler, racist scum.

    • Wow Jesus….you really have some issues with hate going on. Maybe you should see someone about that.

      Just saying

      • Jesus Beltran says

        Miguelito Proud Girl, of course I have issues with hate, I see how you racist mother (deleted for vulgarity) demonize us, dehumanize us, call us illegal aliens, animals, criminals, stereotype us all to keep us marginalized, oppressed, exploited enslaved. And you all racist pussy grabbers have been doing it for centuries. For you all, real heartless, lawless Godless criminal animals is normal behavior. Do you think a grown adult who claims to love God needs help for locking up little children as young as two months old in cages as if they were animals? And then claiming that these innocent children are not so innocent and that they are animals. That’s a sick racist mother (deleted for vulgarity) who needs help and so do the millions of racist scum who put him in office.

        I am going to take and use this opportunity to ask any minority reading this humble posting, not to take any racist crap from the racist pussy grabbers. If any racist mother (deleted for vulgarity) calls you any derogatory, offensive, insulting whatever to your face, pop them on their racist faces. You have the right to defend yourself from these racist, wild uncivilized animals. You are human beings with legal rights. These racist mother (deleted for vulgarity) do not own our planet. And they are the real animals.

    • You’re quick to condemn others as rascists and haters while you spew anti-gay slurs. Homophobic hypocrite. Maybe you should lay off the frijoles a bit; you’re clearly s***ting out of your mouth.

  11. Jesus Beltran says

    You are blocking my comments, racist mother (deleted for vulgarity). Where is your humanity, racist bitches?

  12. Jesus Beltran says

    Miguelito Proud Girl, pf course you have a hate issue…and so does your pussy grabbing racist bitch so-called President and the millions of racist scum who put him in office.

  13. Jesus Beltran says

    I would love to wipe out all racist scum like the pussy grabbing in chief from the phase of our planet so we all can live in piece without your racism, hate and racial superiority mentality. You racist snakes do not deserve to share our planet, with us, civilized human beings. F/U all racist scum who lock-up little children in cages.

  14. Jesus Beltran says


  15. Jesus Beltran says

    The racist fawhats who run this website promote hatred against minorities…and the racist, pussy grabbers, mother fuckers block most of my comments using PHP programming. Fuck you all, racist scum.

  16. Jesus Beltran says

    Racist scum, no matter where you go, you’ll always be there along with your racism and hatred.
    The racist pussy grabber thinks he is shit on a stick, but he is not even a fart on a twig. The it thing thinks he is a king, but it is only a racist pig. The racist animal will pay for all his crimes against humanity no matter where it hides. The millions of racist idiots, stupid retardados mentales who voted for this racist, closeted homosexual won’t do a damn thing to save him and help to him. They are all pussy cowards just like it is.

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