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Mass exodus? Recent data shows more people moving to California


SACRAMENTO — We’ve been tracking all the studies showing how many people have left California since the start of the pandemic, but depending on where you look, some narratives seem worse than others.

In fact, some of the latest numbers show more people moving to California.

There’s no denying California’s seen a dramatic drop in population in recent years. Rebecca Hoehne and her family added to the numbers when they packed up and moved to Texas.

“It wasn’t a reactive move. It was a proactive move to take advantage of a business opportunity that we had,” she said.

Rebecca and her husband, Travis, run their own photography and lifestyle business called Awesomeness.us. A business project took them to Texas, but after two and a half years, they were ready to come back — and it appears they’re not the only ones.

Sacramento housing analyst Ryan Lundquist considers California’s so-called exodus a bit skewed, saying the numbers have been all over the place. He said he’s actually seeing people moving to the Golden State.

A recent U.S. Census estimate showed more than 125,000 new residents came to California last year after an uptick in people moving to the U.S. from abroad.

While LinkedIn listed San Francisco among the top 10 cities losing the most people in February 2022, one year later, it’s ranked second among places gaining the most workers in the country.

“We have a lopsided view of reality, and so yeah, let’s realize that there are people who are leaving the state in bigger numbers,” Lundquist said. “But if we don’t pay attention to the other factors into why the population is changing the way it is, we are missing part of the narrative and we can create sensationalism.”

“And so we thought, it’s a no-brainer. We’re going back to Cali,” Travis Hoehne said.

Housing analysts have pointed to several factors lowering California’s population in recent years: a slowing birth rate and higher death rate, especially since COVID-19, plus changes in immigration policy slowing migration to the U.S. 



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