Leaving California: One of the Top States for Resident Exodus in 2020

Despite the pandemic and economic crisis that made travel difficult in 2020, people moved their entire lives from California and other states that year. The story of people leaving California is not new, though. In fact, the state has lost millions over the years as ex-Californians seek better climates for business, politics, personal safety, and environmental disasters.

What State Lost the Most People?

While numerous people choose to exit California for multiple reasons, the state that actually had the largest population loss was Texas. Though, the state also gained almost half as many residents as it lost. Another loss leader for people moving out of was New York state. The District of Columbia, North Carolina, and California rounded out the top five states that had the greatest net losses during 2020.

When Did People Begin Leaving California and Other States?

As expected, many people began to leave their home states at the beginning of the pandemic when state lockdowns and regulations varied greatly across the country. However, the summer also saw another peak of people leaving for other states. During each of March, July, and August 2020, 1.23 million people across the country relocated.

Where Did People Leaving California Move to?

People leaving California moved to Texas and Nevada in almost equal numbers. However, ex-Californians also flocked to Oregon, Arizona, and Florida. Many of these states offered lower costs of living with good environments and fewer natural disasters.

Even within California, people chose to leave larger cities for more suburban areas nearby. For those leaving their homes to move within or out of the state, this migration pattern makes sense because many reasons cited for moving include city violence and pollution. Moving to more suburban areas helps them to avoid these factors.

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