The number of people leaving California for another state outstripped the number moving in from another state during the year ending on July 1, 2008. California lost a net total of 144,000 people during that period — more than any other state, according to census estimates. That is about equal to the population of Syracuse, N.Y.March 2009 update:
The state with the next-highest net loss through migration between states was New York, which lost just over 126,000 residents.
California's loss is extremely small in a state of 38 million. And, in fact, the state's population continues to increase overall because of births and immigration, legal and illegal. But it is the fourth consecutive year that more residents decamped from California for other states than arrived here from within the U.S.
A losing streak that long hasn't happened in California since the recession of the early 1990s, when departures outstripped arrivals from other states by 362,000 in 1994 alone.
In part because of the boom in population in other Western states, California could lose a congressional seat for the first time in its history.
Why are so many looking for an exit?
Among other things: California's unemployment rate hit 8.4 percent in November, the third-highest in the nation, and it is expected to get worse. A record 236,000 foreclosures are projected for 2008, more than the prior nine years combined, according to research firm MDA DataQuick. Personal income was about flat last year.
With state government facing a $41.6 billion budget hole over 18 months, residents are bracing for higher taxes, cuts in education and postponed tax rebates....
Related: Corporate oil booms in low-tax Switzerland, Reuters, March 12, 2009 ("[A] wave of energy companies has in the last few months announced plans to move to Switzerland -- mainly for its appeal as a low-tax corporate domicile that looks relatively likely to stay out of reach of Barack Obama's tax-seeking administration.") and California Scheming: What One-Party Rule Is Doing To Once-Golden State