The current occupant of the White House says California is “out of control.” Something called “Hidden Dominion” posted “50 Reasons Why California Sucks” (Since updated to 72 reasons.) including such well-documented and thoughtful reasons as:

  • California has the worst healthcare system in the country.
  • Los Angeles. (Do I really even need to explain?)
  • San Francisco.
  • Oakland.

A San Francisco newspaper posted an on-line photo essay illustrating the reasons people say they hate California. As a native Oregonian, I am familiar with blaming Californians for most everything, especially their moving to the Northwest and driving up home prices and otherwise “Californicating” our pristine dominion.
It’s almost an article of faith that Californians are eager to get out, relocate to the Northwest or Nevada or Texas. Having recently repatriated to Oregon after twenty-plus years in California, I am here to say it’s not so bad in the Golden State.

California, with population approaching 40 million, lost 63,174 residents to Texas in 2017; 40,999 left Texas for California. The largest net out-migration was to Arizona (32,326), Oregon (29,561) and Nevada (23,745). Overall, 661,026 people left California for other states; 523,131 immigrated from other states. 86,890 persons without bachelor degrees left; 11,653 graduate degree holders arrived. Yet, California’s total population continues to increase. So who’s coming into the state?

Mexicans? Not so much. Even with no wall, immigration from Mexico has fallen from 150,000 a year in the 1990s to about 40,000 in 2016. Asia contributed 58% of California’s immigrants last year, Latin America 28%. The people who are coming are educated, most with bachelor or graduate degrees. They’re coming for the high-paying jobs in technology and other sectors.

And, oh yeah, there were 220,000 more births than deaths.

It’s primarily the high cost of housing that’s preventing everyone from moving to California. As a demographer at USC puts it, “Who wouldn’t prefer California? We have superior weather. We have mountains and oceans. And we have better jobs — better paying and more specialized, whether in tech, entertainment, the arts or medicine.”

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