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California exodus

Rogan’s move mirrors a broader trend.

Data released in October by the U.S. Census Bureau on state-to-state migration flows shows that California has continued to lose hundreds of thousands more residents than it has gained, even though the pandemic has tailed off.

The state had a net loss of well over over 300,000 residents in both 2021 and 2022. Pre-COVID, annual net losses were less than 200,000.

And the pipeline between California and Texas has for the past two years been the largest conduit of interstate movement within America: in 2021, 107,546 individuals relocated from California to Texas, and in 2022 another 102,442 people made the same move.

But the Lone Star State isn’t the only destination drawing Californians. Many are also heading to the Sunshine State.

In 2021, 37,464 individuals moved from California to Florida, and the number increased in 2022 to 50,701.

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Why are Californians fleeing?

People move for various reasons. Rogan highlighted the less stringent COVID-19 restrictions as a key motivator for him. However, even though California's economy has since reopened, two additional factors likely contribute to this migration trend: taxes and the cost of living.

California has a state income tax rate that ranges from 1% to 12.3%, according to the Tax Foundation. There’s also an additional 1% surcharge for incomes over $1 million, often referred to as the "mental health services tax," bringing the top tax rate to 13.3%, the highest state income tax rate in the country.

Both Texas and Florida offer a more favorable tax environment, notably featuring no state income tax. This aspect is especially attractive to high earners and retirees seeking financial efficiency.

Moreover, the cost of living in Texas and Florida is generally lower compared to California, especially in terms of housing costs. This makes them attractive destinations for families and individuals seeking more affordable living options.

According to real estate marketplace Zillow, the average home value stands at $298,127 in Texas and $391,213 in Florida. In contrast, the average home in California commands a significantly higher price of $746,055.

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Jing Pan Investment Reporter

Jing is an investment reporter for MoneyWise. He is an avid advocate of investing for passive income. Despite the ups and downs he’s been through with the markets, Jing believes that you can generate a steadily increasing income stream by investing in high quality companies.


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