Californians Are Moving Out of These Cities the Fastest


The population of California, the most populous state in the union, has significantly decreased recently. The state lost more than 182,000 residents in 2020 and an additional 117,552 in 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many of these individuals moved to other states in search of better living conditions, more affordable housing, or alternative lifestyles. However, which Californian cities had the highest number of departures, and where did these individuals go?

The Top Five Cities Losing Residents

Allied Van Lines, a moving firm that monitors relocation patterns, released a report listing the top five locations in California for outbound moves in 2021.

  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • San Diego
  • San Jose
  • Sacramento

These cities rank among the biggest and most costly in the state due to their high tax rates, expensive housing, and congested roads. They also had to deal with issues like power shortages, wildfires, and COVID-19 limitations, which would have made some locals unhappy.

The Top Five Destinations for Californians

The top five destination cities for Californians who relocated out of state in 2021 were also disclosed in the same Allied Van Lines survey. They were:

  • Dallas, TX
  • Austin-San Marcos, TX
  • Chicago, IL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA

Compared to Californian cities, these ones have more career prospects, more affordable living expenses, and diverse weather. Texas in particular has been drawing a lot of Californians due to its diverse culture, thriving tech industry, and lack of state income tax. States like Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Florida, and Oregon are also well-liked by Californians.

The Impact of the Population Decline

California’s politics, culture, and economy are all impacted by the state’s declining population. For example, the results of the 2020 census resulted in the state losing an electoral vote and a congressional seat for the first time in its history. California will thus have less influence and representation in the federal government. As fewer individuals contribute to the state budget, the state may also have difficulties sustaining its infrastructure, public services, and tax income. However, there could be some advantages to the population drop as well, like lessened environmental stress, lessened housing shortages, and enhanced quality of life for those who remain.


Due to a major exodus from the state’s most populous and costly cities, California is seeing a sharp reduction in its population. In other states, particularly Texas, they are looking for different lifestyles, better work possibilities, or cheaper cost of living. There are both positive and bad effects of the population loss on the state’s politics, economy, and culture. California will need to adjust to the shifting interests and demographics of its populace in order to draw in and keep those who appreciate the state’s offerings.

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