Why is everyone escaping the Golden State?

California is iconic for its lavish scenery, iconic sites and boisterous cities that spread shore to shore. With its notable success, California’s economy is the 5th largest in the world. Many opportunity seekers have migrated to California in the past to take advantage of its flourishing big tech, agriculture and health industries. Knowing this, one might ask, “why leave?” The answer is simple, yet unfortunate. 

Although California is a land of opportunity, it is also the 4th most expensive state in America to live in. Income tax in California ranks the highest at 13.3% for citizens that make over $1 million a year. This not only affects wealthy Californians, it affects those who own small businesses. To put this in perspective, small businesses make up 44% of the economic activity in the U.S. If small business owners struggle to keep their businesses open, the state may experience detrimental after effects.

 Besides income taxes, real estate in California seems to be a major ingredient that is causing Californians to ditch the state. According to data provided by Realtor.com, out of the 50 states in America, California had the highest median home price in 2021. California faces a major housing crisis that makes it difficult for all levels of income earners to maintain housing. The median rent in California is unbearable for many, but the contrast in housing cost compared to other states is significant.

Trevon Martin // CIRB Journalism Intern