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Is there a California exodus? And is everyone moving to Utah?

Listening to a recent episode of WBUR’s On Point radio program, we were struck by some interesting statistics.

Between July of 2019 and July of 2020, the population of California grew by roughly 21,000 people. In a state with a population of almost 40 million, that equates to a minuscule .05% growth rate.

Also, between July 2019 and July 2020 about 135,000 more people moved out of California than moved into the state. It’s only the 12th time since 1900 that’s happened.

And according to a 2019 poll from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies, “more than half of California’s registered voters have given “serious” or “some” recent consideration to moving out of the state.”

In more recent news, one of California’s wealthiest citizens, Elon Musk, announced in October that his company’s headquarters would be moving to Texas.

And Tesla isn’t the only company to pack up and leave in recent months. Oracle, HP, and Toyota have all announced plans to pack up and head for Texas.

Why are people moving out of California?

Elon Musk famously got into a Twitter war with California politicians over the closures at his factories during the pandemic but politics alone isn’t the only reason he’s publicly given for the move.

Another factor, California is a difficult place for Tesla employees and other middle-class workers to find affordable housing, Musk recently told shareholders. “There’s a limit to how big you can scale it in the Bay Area. In Austin our factory is like five minutes from the airport, 15 minutes from downtown,” he said.

Couple that with California’s stringent labor laws and higher taxes and it’s easy to see why moving out of California is so appealing for companies and for individuals.

Are they all moving to Texas?

According to a recent news story out of San Diego, the answer is, no. The numbers from address change forms submitted to the U.S. Postal Service in 2019 and 2020, were collected by CBRE, a giant real estate services company, and showed more former Californians are current Utah residents than former residents of any other state, by far.

Looking at Utah’s three biggest metro areas in 2020:

  • 4,588 Californians moved to the Salt Lake metro area, compared with 2,494 Salt Lakers moving to California.
  • 2,402 Californians moved to the Provo-Orem area, while 992 moved in the other direction.
  • 1,569 Californians changed their address to the Ogden-Clearfield metro area, with just 664 making the opposite move.

And in St. George, Utah, 1,695 Californians moved in while just 315 people moved from St. George to California in 2020.

Nationwide the trends which started even before the pandemic are continuing and showing people moving away from urban cores more expensive coastal cities and into more affordable and less regulated and less populated states like Utah.

Why move from California to Utah?

We’ve got a pretty comprehensive list of the reasons you should want to move to Utah but we’ll summarize here. The cost of housing and living is lower. Selling a modest home in California and using those funds to purchase a new home in Utah will lead to an upgrade in square footage and amenities, or leave you with a whole lot of extra cash in your pocket.

The weather in Utah is spectacular. Four seasons and yet you can avoid snow days almost completely if you chose to live in the southern part of the state.

Outdoor activities abound. There are world-class ski resorts and five national parks in the state.

It’s a safe place to live. Violent crime is 36% below the national average in Utah.

World-class education opportunities. From Utah’s elementary schools to the numerous universities in the state, Utah has a top-notch, highly-rated education system.

Are you thinking of making the move?

We here at Simply Real Estate can help you make the move. We can help you find the ideal home in the ideal location.

Whether you prefer life in the heart of downtown or a golf course view out your back window, we can make your dream home a reality.

Contact us today and let’s talk about what you want to find and how we can get you out of California!