Moving Out of California

A trend that was overwhelmingly seen in Sacramento in the last year is a lot of people moving. What’s largely attributed to the pandemic, all age groups made migration plans to other states in the last year.

So, what’s so bad about Sacramento and California in general?

Thankfully, there is nothing inherently wrong with Sacramento. People have a variety of reasons for why they decide to move to other states, be that for family, friends, job opportunities or recreational activities they may enjoy.

Here are a few of the top reasons we’re seeing with people leaving Sacramento and the Central Valley.

It’s Too Expensive

It’s no secret that Sacramento is an expensive place to live. Between utilities, entertainment, rent and monthly groceries, it’s one of the more expensive areas of the country to live. And with so many people losing their jobs due to the pandemic, people are left with little each month.

This isn’t just the case with Sacramento. The majority of people who have moved out of the state due to it being too expensive are actually migrating from Los Angeles. While we know Los Angeles is much more expensive than Sacramento, it’s still a surprising thing to hear.

In states like Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Idaho, the cost of living is at least 10% less than that of California. When you’re tight on monthly expenses, a 10% difference can be major.

Insurance Costs

The cost of insurance is much more expensive in California too. For instance, an auto insurance policy is 3x more expensive in Sacramento compared to other states due to the amount of drivers on California highways and accidents that occur. Oregon insurance broker Steve Thill adds, “most of my client base are people who have relocated to Central Oregon from California. When they sign up for new insurance, be it health, home or auto, they are always surprised by the cost savings in Oregon vs. California.”

Retired Individuals

Retired Individuals

Another large portion of individuals who left the area in the last year are those who have reached retirement age. Whether they retired on their own our due to staff reductions as a result of COVID-19, a lot of California’s baby boomers retired last year. And it’s now a known fact that these retirees have moved to different states where they can pursue a lifestyle they love at a cost they love too.

Many retired individuals in Sacramento left the area in search of 55 and older communities in Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Arizona. These locations are less expensive to live in and still offer seniors the ability to enjoy activities like skiing, hiking, camping and other outdoor sports. Plus, the climate in Arizona and Nevada is comparable to California and enjoyed by many.

Job Opportunities

California was once the tech hub capital of the United States, but this has changed in the last decade. This change has allowed the tech-minded workforce to excel in their work with a highly desirable salary and in a place where they can prosper comfortably. For instance, living on a salary of $120,000 a year in Oakland is barely above the poverty line. But $120,000 in a state like Idaho is considered well off. It’s the same career, same line of work, just a different local economy.

Fires & Natural Disasters

Of course, the state of California saw a lot of people leave due to natural disasters and the abundance of wildfires. Many residents lost their homes and don’t even want to chance going through that again. States like Utah, Colorado and Arizona also suffer from wildfires, but not nearly at the same frequency as California.

Final Thoughts

It’s unfortunate to see so many people leaving the state. However, if we can rely on history for predictable patterns, we can conclude that these migration patterns are cyclical. While California is hit with a lot of people leaving right now, the next decade will see more and more people enter the state.

By Christina Rudd

Christina Rudd is an editor for 916 Journal. She has been writing for local publications for the last 7 years and is happy to cover all things Sacramento.

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