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For the third consecutive year, more people are moving out of The Golden State than moving in. That’s according to a new study by Atlas Van Lines, which assessed 66,308 interstate and cross-border household goods relocations from January 1, 2019 to December 13, 2019.

Last year, the company recorded 6,442 inbound moves to California and 7,041 outbound moves from California, resulting in a net loss of 599 households. 2019 was the first year California entered the top 10 outbound states, ranking seventh on the list. Although there was a decrease in the total number of moves to and from California between 2018 and 2019, the net loss was significantly lower in 2018 at 109 households.

California is still considered “balanced” in terms of its inbound and outbound activity, but the population growth rate has been declining steadily since 2000, according to US census data. The most popular states California residents opt to relocate to include Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon — all of which offer temperate climates and lower cost of living.

The exodus has disproportionately affected lower and middle class Californians — those with incomes of less than $100,000 — who are struggling to keep up with rising housing costs amid low inventory levels.

The latest figures from the California Association of Realtors indicate that the median statewide home price for November 2019 was $589,770, up 6.4 percent year-over-year. By comparison, the median statewide home price in Texas was $207,301 during the same period, making the Lone Star State all the more appealing to cash-strapped Californians.

The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, which measures public trust in institutions, revealed that 53 percent of California residents are considering moving out of state due to the high cost of living. Among Millennials, 63 percent are toying with the idea of relocating.

If these trend patterns continue and affordability declines even further, California dreamin’ may be reserved for the wealthy in the not too distant future.

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