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Mass 2020 exodus from California did not happen, study says

California Daily Life
Posted at 10:59 AM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 15:16:01-05

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — New research from a nonpartisan think tank has found that the popular notion of a mass exodus from California last year is wrong.

The California Policy Lab says most of the moves during 2020 happened within the state.

The research announced this week found departures from the state were consistent with historical patterns, rising only slightly, but the biggest statewide change was that fewer people moved to California.

The lab says San Francisco experienced a unique exodus at the county level.

The number of moves out of San Francisco in the second through third quarters of 2020 was 31% higher than the same period in 2019, according to the research.

However, most people remained within the 11-county San Francisco Bay Area economic region. Many left for counties in the Sierra Nevada and elsewhere in Northern California.

The California Policy Lab used data from the University of California Consumer Credit Panel to track domestic residential moves.

It found that more people moved into San Luis Obispo County than moved out in 2020:

  • Exits - 4,619
  • Entrances - 4,946

Departures grew about 1.7% compared to 2019 while the number of people moving in grew by nearly 4%.

In Santa Barbara County, more people moved out than moved in:

  • Exits - 6,484
  • Entrances - 5,596

The percentage of people moving out was about the same year over year, but the number of people moving in fell by 9.1%

Researchers found that less than 1% of the people who moved out of the Bay Area in 2020 ended up on the Central Coast, although the number of arrivals increased in the second half of the year.

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