SAN FRANCISCO -- From the Gold Rush to the tech boom, the Golden State has long been a mecca for immigrants, dreamers and fortune seekers, but some warn that trend may well be at an end.
While California is still the most populous state with more than 39 million residents as of 2022, roughly 12% of the U.S. population, the state is now losing population to neighboring states such as Arizona, Nevada and Texas at greater levels than ever before. This exodus now includes college graduates and residents at all income levels, according to a new policy brief from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, a nonpartisan research institution at Stanford University.
Two-thirds of the people who moved out of state said that politics was not a key factor in their decision, but the population shift may well have political ramifications, such as the loss of congressional clout, some say, and a decline in enrollment in the public schools.
The state's high cost of living is likely a main culprit, experts say, prompting both families and businesses to seek more affordable conditions.
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