The Real Demographic Hysteria in California

Net loss? Hardly.

by Brian Leubitz

Over the last few days, you may have read a few breathless stories about how Californians are moving out of the state. We’re having a mass exodus apparently!

Exodus: California, once a magnet for the enterprising and ambitious, is losing residents. There’s not so much a giant sucking sound coming from the Golden State as there is the hiss of a balloon losing its air.

The Census Bureau says that California had a net loss of 100,000 people last year. Many headed for Texas (58,992), while Arizona (49,635), Nevada (40,114), Washington (38,421) and Oregon (34,214) all took in fleeing Californians. (Investors Business Daily)

So, what’s the deal you ask, we lost residents in California? Well, no. We did not lose residents in California. What happened is that who Californians are has changed. The IBD article goes on to blame everything on the awful Californians and their terrible, terrible taxes. And then they close with this:

Maybe they’ll catch on when they look around in a few years and find there are no longer enough productive citizens left to support everyone else. So far, though, they haven’t shown much of a capacity for learning.

But, earlier I said that we haven’t lost residents, so what gives you ask? Well, the number that the IBD chose not to include was the fact that over a quarter of a million people moved here from outside of the United States. California is the new America. We are the new Ellis Island. The new melting pot where creativity still booms brightest.

Despite IBD and other right-wing publications protests, California is still the home of the new economy. We still create the jobs of the future. In the first quarter of 2012, California accounted for nearly half of all venture capital deals. People come here from across the globe to be a a part of this new, exciting future.

They come here for our resources, our people, and yeah, they’d like to see a decent education system for their kids too. We’re learning all right, we’re learning about the future of America. Perhaps some folks from IBD should come on down and see it for themselves.  

16 thoughts on “The Real Demographic Hysteria in California”

  1. I agree that California is richly blessed by nature and our people.  We SHOULD be a beacon of prosperity and sustainability to the nation and the world.

    However, we need to confront reality.  There are real issues confronting California, many of them a direct result of our poorly-run state government.  While some see California as “the oasis of Democratic politics,” many don’t see our one-party rule as a blessing.


    As for our schools, when measured independently and objectively, California’s public schools, on average, rank toward the bottom nationally with the likes of Alabama and Mississippi.  Despite near record spending, California’s elected leaders decided to allocate spending elsewhere.


    Because California’s tax scheme is so heavily dependent on top earners, a net out-migration can be a major revenue problem for the state.  Our foolish over-reliance on top earners was a major reason for the dramatic decrease in tax revenues between 2007 and 2009.  Proposition 30 tax hikes were merely more bad public policy and simply horrible tax policy.


    Let’s objective look at the evidence and work together to help California live up to its potential.

  2. With the exception of Texas, everybody I know who has moved to Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington was retiring and looking for a cheaper place to live. Despite what Soquel Creek thinks, these aren’t high-income earners. To the contrary, Mitt Romney just moved here. In the 60 years I’ve lived here, I’ve noticed that anybody who can afford to tends to stay.

    Despite what IBD thinks, California ranks either sixth or fourth in overall taxes. However, the cost of living is high–even after the recent drops in home prices. Still, our population is not declining. It is getting younger and way less white. And, when we invest in education, we still seem to have plenty of productive citizens

  3. All my in-laws are Vietnamese boat people

    Ethnic Chinese who fled South Vietnam

    They all worked hard and bought homes and didn’t lose them

    ALL the kids went to or are currently attending the University of California

    Except for my oldest who’s attending SF State for the Teaching program

    The immigrants we’re getting from overseas are bringing a lot to California

    Attend a High School or a College graduation in your area

    Most of the kids graduating with honors are East Asian or South Asian

    California is Still a magnet

    We really need to allow foreign graduates for California universities to stay in the state permanently

    Look at who’s getting the engineering and hard scienec degrees in this state

    East Asians and South Asians

  4. During the last 15 years, California has seen a mass exodus of middle class and upper income residents. The only reason California’s population hasn’t declined is because of a mass influx of illegal immigrants.

    Anyone who thinks it’s good to have middle class citizens replaced by low-educated, low skill illegal immigrants (with the accompanying social disruption, poverty and crime) has problems.

    CALIFORNIA is a failed state.


    Nearly four million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states. This is a sharp reversal from the 1980s, when 100,000 more Americans were settling in California each year than were leaving. According to Mr. Kotkin, most of those leaving are between the ages of 5 and 14 or 34 to 45. In other words, young families.


    I am sure the author of this post has hard evidence that this demographic data re” inter-state population transfers is incorrect.

  6. Is this the same IBD that claimed Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have survived if he’d had to depend on the UK’s health care system?  I’m not sure any article in a publication that fails to research its articles any better than that is going to carry a whole lot of weight in my neck of the California woods.

  7. It is also the case that at least some of that external movement is because LA is a huge gateway for immigration and people move through on their way to settling elsewhere.  That gives a bloated sense to the movement in and out of the state.  The LAT discusses this in today’s paper.

  8.  White People, mostly White Males.

    California Tax Law is not odious, we have a generous welfare state but it could be easily much more generous and help Middle Class families more which seems strange until you try to apply for benefits.

    We could solve much of this BS with a State owned Bank which I know is being considered.

    People are leaving because real estate prices are high. Now people listen closely, you can not have high real estate prices, high property values and mobile populations all at the same time.

    There was a mass exodus to the Inland Empire and Antelope Valley expressly because of real estate prices under the guise of escaping crime ridden inner city LA.

    What we need is modest expectations of real estate values, affordable housing including public housing; Which will allow for a upwardly mobile population.

    For both the United States and Europe to solve its aging population problems they will have to embrace more generous programs that encourage child birth and families, along with smart immigration policies.

    The US has no problem drawing people here and we should consider ourselves lucky. We just have to do a much better job on the social welfare front and TUNE OUT the Conservatives, Libertarians and so-called Independent voters who are really either Democrats or Republicans who don’t want to be pigeon holed and believe they are above the partisanship; COMPLETE BS!


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