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Nearly Half of Californians Are Thinking About Packing Up and Moving Out of State
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By Brian Phelps
Published 10 months ago on
June 27, 2023

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Four in ten Californians are seriously considering packing their bags and moving out of the state, according to a recent poll conducted by Strategies 360, in partnership with the Los Angeles Times.

Of the Californians polled, 61% said the state was too expensive and 27% said their political views do not align with California’s policies and laws.

Californians have been heading for the exits since 2020. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 343,230 people have left California over the last two years, and the trend seems likely to continue.

The poll gave insights to residents’ views on state topics such as gun violence, the state of the economy, diversity and inclusion in the state, and overall general happiness living in California. Strategies 360 is a full-service research, public affairs, and communications firm that offers promises sharp strategic thinking that gets results.

The Golden State Is Too Expensive 

According to the poll, respondents overwhelmingly were unhappy with the overall cost of living, including housing, the state’s economy, and not having enough for unexpected everyday expenses:

  • 56% said they are dissatisfied with the cost of their health care and housing.
  • 68% said the condition of California’s economy is poor, and 40% are very dissatisfied with where the economy is now.
  • Additionally, 8 in 10 Californians believe the cost of everyday living expenses is too high.
  • Nearly half (46%) of the respondents said they were struggling to save for unexpected expenses.
  • About 35% said they live comfortably, while 18% said they live paycheck to paycheck each month.

The poll also showed a big change in Californians’ views on the direction the state has been headed since 2020.

Today, only 28% of Californians say the state is on the right track, an 18% decrease from February 2020. Likewise, 43% see California heading in the wrong direction, up from 32%.

“Even if folks make the same income as they did even just three years ago, their sense of financial security has fallen dramatically,” Ben Winston, a political consultant for Strategies 360, told the Times.

California Remains Strong at Promoting Diversity

Just under 60% said that California’s diversity brings people together around new ideas and vibrant communities. Likewise, two-thirds said that relations between people of different races in their neighborhoods are good or excellent.

Sixty-six percent said they are rarely or never discriminated against, however only 39% of African Americans said the same.

There was no majority consensus on whether or not the country had gone too far when attempting to give equal rights to all. Only 47% believed that the country had gone too far in efforts for equal rights, while 46% said that the country had done a good job achieving it.

While there was no overall majority, 53% of white respondents said the country had over-corrected, while 63% of African Americans felt the country had taken the necessary steps to create equal opportunity.

Gun Violence Still Looms over Californians’ Heads

Gun violence is a hot topic in California politics. The state has gone through 26 separate mass shooting events this year alone, according to The Gun Violence Archive.

Poll showed that 59% of respondents were worried that they or someone in their family would become a victim of gun violence.

Additionally, 55% said that California’s firearm laws should be stricter than they are now. According to the Giffords Law Center, California ranks No. 1 for having the strongest gun laws and received an A on the center’s annual gun scorecard.

Right now in the California Legislature there are more than 15 bills in circulation that involve firearm and gun violence. All would work in one way or another to make firearms harder to obtain and promote gun violence safety.

71% of Californians Say They’re Happy

In what seems to be a contradiction to part of the poll results, Californians reported that they are still generally pleased to be living in the state, despite rising costs of living and fear of gun violence.

Results showed that 71% said they were happy to be living in California, and 27% said they were unhappy.

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