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Poll: 4 in 10 Californians are considering leaving due to cost of living

California’s homes cost more per square foot to build and are continually rising.

Published: June 28, 2023 11:00pm

(The Center Square) -

(The Center Square) - The lure of California has enticed many to make this state their home. Great weather, beaches, opportunity, and being among the top 5 economies in the world, all factor in its attraction. But whether these elements are sufficient to retain residents is something yet to be seen.

A The California Community Poll at the beginning of June shows that about 43% of Californians believe the state is heading in the wrong direction, 28% have mixed feelings about the direction of the state while another 28% think it is going in the right direction. One percent aren’t sure. With 1,354 interviews, the poll's margin of error is +/- 2.7%.

This perhaps is congruent with the survey’s other discoveries, namely, the dissatisfaction with the cost of healthcare, 56% of respondents were totally dissatisfied. The cost of homes was also a source of dissatisfaction for 56% of those surveyed. California’s homes cost more per square foot to build and are continually rising.

Just over half of residents surveyed, expressed dissatisfaction with safety in their local vicinities. Another area of discontent was with the condition of the economy, 68% of individuals polled were totally dissatisfied, but it is the cost of everyday living expenses that is of highest concern with 81% of residents expressing dissatisfaction.

While across America food prices have been consistently rising as a result of inflation, labor costs, the supply chain and the war in Ukraine, factors acute to California such as above average gas prices and minimum wage amounts, increase costs above what consumers in other states pay. This is important because food prices make up almost 14% of the Consumer Price Index, second only to shelter. It's not an optional expense either.

It's not surprising then to discover that 61% of residents polled say the cost of living is the number one reason they are considering leaving California, and four in every ten Californians are considering moving to another state even while 68% say California is part of how they identify themselves. The struggle is real, 46% of Californians surveyed say they can get by every month but can’t pay for unexpected expenses and struggle to save, while 18% find it difficult to make ends meet. Only 27% of residents cite the state’s policies as a reason to leave.

Notwithstanding, the survey showed that despite the financial strain, the residents of California, by and large, are happy to live in the state because of the diversity of the people who call California home. It is a highly valued attribute which respondents agree “brings people together around new ideas and vibrant communities.”

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