Half a Million People Left California Between 2020 and 2022

A man talks on his cell phone while riding on the back of a moving truck as residents evac
JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

California lost roughly half a million people between the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic and mid-2022.

KTLA reported that between April 2020 and July 2022, California’s population dropped by roughly 500,000, amounting to about one percent of the state’s total population.

The outlet noted this decline in population has been most acute in the counties of San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

A February report by the large real estate brokerage Redfin found more homebuyers looked to leave San Francisco and Los Angeles than any other U.S. metro the previous month.

Another report from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) found 61 percent of the state’s likely voters say, “Rising prices are causing financial hardship.” The same report found high housing cost had led a third of respondents to consider leaving the state. 

The Daily Mail noted another potential factor in the decision of California residents to relocate to other states has been a wave of layoffs in the technology sector and its impact on the broader financial sector. 

As of mid-January, as Breitbart News noted, 1,600 tech workers had been laid off every day since the beginning of the year.

Additionally, rising crime has become a larger concern for California residents, particularly in San Francisco, per the Chronicle:

Between 2021 and 2022, the department saw a 121 percent increase in total overtime, according to KPIX. 

SFPD officials have also been making targeted attempts to address crime in certain pockets in the city which are prone to incidents.  

‘We have been working hard to address serious public safety challenges in San Francisco, but we need our officers out on the street,’ said London Breed in February.

PPIC found that next to the economy, homelessness was the top issue Californians were concerned about. 

A 2019 report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found the state was “entirely” responsible for a national uptick in homelessness that was observed in January of that year, as Breitbart News noted.


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