California, There I Go

Though not often reported by the LA Times, we know that housing costs in California have been driving people out in large numbers, Now, Curbed LA has printed a detailed report on the exodus. Given its economic roots it comes as no surprise to us that it is people with lower incomes who are leaving in droves because they simply cannot afford to live here. Bianca Barragan, High Housing Costs Are Driving Californians Out in Droves, Curbed LA, March 4, 2016.  Click on Here is a summary:

“Angelenos and San Franciscans know their housing is insanely expensive, but California on the whole has some of the most expensive housing in the US, and that’s driving many poor and middle-class Californians out, says a new report from Beacon Economics and released by Next 10, a nonprofit group founded by Bay Area venture capitalist F. Noel Perry (via the San Gabriel Valley Tribune). In the years between 2007 and 2014, “625,000 more people moved out of California to other states than moved into California from other states.”

“Beacon says that a closer look at who is leaving California—their income, education, jobs—suggests that expensive housing costs are a far more likely explanation for out-migration than, say, the commonly complained-about taxes, which would be more likely to drive out the rich. Housing costs have been blamed for pushing lower-income people out of the state before, and a companion report from Beacon shows how unrealistically expensive the market has come in California; it now has a severe housing shortage and the second lowest homeownership rates in the country.”

Who are these migrants? “[T]he majority of out migration can be attributed to residents who earn less than $30,000,” Beacon says, and a huge chunk of those people leaving—192,700 over the seven-year period—are in “lower-skilled, lower-paying” fields, meaning something like food preparation, transportation, or office administration—jobs that are pretty essential to any state.