SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — California is among the list of states showing the largest exodus of residents in a new study from a moving company.
United Van Lines’ annual National Migration Study showed California is fifth among the list of states with the largest outbound migration, with 59% of moves out of the state compared to 41% of moves into the state.
New Jersey topped the outbound list for the third year in a row, with 70% outbound moves, followed by New York, Illinois and Connecticut. Top inbound states were Idaho (70%), South Carolina (64%), Oregon (63%), South Dakota (62%) and Arizona (62%).
While the survey indicated that 40% of Americans moved because of a job, 27% percent moved in order to be closer to family, which is up significantly from prior years.
Data from March to October showed the COVID-19 pandemic also influenced Americans’ decisions to move, with the top reasons associated with the pandemic being concern for personal and family heath (60%), desire to be closer to family (59%); changes in employment status or work arrangement (57%), and desire for a lifestyle change or quality of life improvement (53%).
In California, the top cities showing outbound movement were Oxnard-Ventura (64%), Salinas-Seaside-Monterey (64%), Vallejo-Fairfield-Napa (63%), San Jose (62%), and Riverside-San Bernardino (61%).
“United Van Lines’ data makes it clear that migration to western and southern states, a prevalent pattern for the past several years, persisted in 2020,” said economist and UCLA Public Policy Professor Michael A. Stoll in a prepared statement. “However, we’re seeing that the COVID-19 pandemic has without a doubt accelerated broader moving trends, including retirement driving top inbound regions as the Baby Boomer generation continues to reach that next phase of life.”
The study showed more people migrated to Nebraska (72%) for a new job or job transfer than any other state, and more people moved to Idaho (11%) due to the cost of living than any other state.
In December, a California population estimate showed 135,600 more people left the state than moved in — only the 12th time since 1900 the state has had a net migration loss, and it’s the third-largest ever recorded.
In the Bay Area, moving vans have become a common sight on neighborhood streets as the high cost of living and the COVID pandemic have forced the hand of residents seeking relief.
The exodus includes iconic Bay Area tech firms including Oracle and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, while Apple has announce a $1 billion campus in the Austin, TX area. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, also confirmed a move to Texas, where his electric car company is buring a new factory.
Real estate trends show former Bay Area residents staying in California, but relocating outside the Bay Area where home prices were more reasonable, including the Lake Tahoe area where home sales have soared.
“We’ve seen a large number of transplants from other areas,” said Rhonda Keen, president of the South Tahoe Association of Relators. “It’s not just tech-workers either. We’re getting all kinds demographics buying homes without even seeing the property.”