Poll: 46 percent of Bay Area residents likely to leave the region

San Francisco, CA, USABetween 1850 and 1860, California’s population grew by 410 percent – a rapid expansion fueled by the Gold Rush.

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The rush today, though, is more outbound than inbound.

From 2007 to 2016, 6 million people left the state while only 5 million moved in. One could argue that with a population of nearly 40 million, a deficit of 1 million over a decade isn’t terribly consequential. One could also argue that losing 1 million is just a start. A recent poll found that 46 percent of Bay Area residents said they are likely to leave the region within the next few years. Only 24 percent of those who want to leave wish to stay in California.

Clearly there is something rotten in San Francisco. Only 25 percent told EMC Research, which polled for the Bay Area Council, that the metro region was headed in the right direction. Fifty-five percent said it is on the “wrong track.”

As recently as 2015, the numbers were almost exactly the reverse: 55 percent said the Bay Area was headed in the right direction, and 28 percent said it was on the wrong track.

So, what has changed?

Several things, it seems. Today, 42 percent said “housing/housing costs/housing availability” is “the most important problem facing the Bay Area today.” In 2015, only 18 percent felt that way.

Other significant trouble spots according to the respondents include “traffic/congestion,” “poverty/homelessness,” and “cost of living.”

This impulse to escape California’s housing crisis is not unique to Bay Area residents. A University of California-Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll taken late last summer found that due to the rising costs of housing, 56 percent across the state have considered moving, “with one in four saying that if they did decide to move, they would most likely relocate out of state.”

In a more recent poll, 700 local business leaders told the Los Angeles County Business Federation the housing crisis and homelessness are “a growing concern” throughout Los Angeles County.

While taxes and fees are still at the top of the list of their biggest headaches, housing and the homeless problem have “moved from low-level concerns in 2017 to among highest priorities of the business community in this year’s poll.”

“The housing crisis affects all sectors and all people in Los Angeles County,” said Greg McWilliams, chief policy officer of FivePoint Communities, a member of the Los Angeles County Business Federation.

“What’s important to note is that taxes and fees halt development, resulting in less housing, business stagnation, higher rents, and higher rates of poverty.”

One wonders if those who cite housing and other cost-of-living hardships as reasons to flee are making the connection between those conditions and California’s one-party rule.

In the four decades Democrats have ruled Sacramento, we’ve seen the development of a housing crisis perpetuated by lousy public policy and a reluctance to enact helpful changes; a regulatory regime and tax structure that is venomous toward business; a political and cultural division that threatens to tear the state into multiple parts; and a widespread sense that the state is heading in the wrong direction.

How can this Blue State stranglehold be broken? It won’t be torn loose by a Republican wave. GOP candidate John Cox might make the governor’s race competitive this fall, but the party is either presumed “dead” or an “afterthought” in California.

California needs candidates who will run pro-growth, pro-freedom, solution-oriented campaigns, regardless of party. Registered voters who have no party preference are now the second-largest electorate group in the state, trailing only registered Democrats.  These voters will make a difference in November whether or not those who are focused on making changes in Sacramento – the new breed of office-seekers that we need to cultivate – are elected.

Kerry Jackson is a fellow with the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.

This article was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily


  1. Damocles says

    What kind of bull shit is this article ? Between 2007 and 2016 California lost one million residents ? This article conveniently leaves out the invasion from Mexico and South America’s illegals . If anything there are at least 5 to ten million people here that slithered into this state in a criminal fashion. The Demoncraps facilitate the and own the votes of these criminals being criminals themselves . If we want a REAL ELECTION we must jail those who are undermining our constitutional rights to govern ourselves and stop the RIGGED ELECTIONS in California.
    The USA needs to END the corrupt two party system and it has become so corrupt that neither party represents the people’s choices anymore . Just criminals who somehow have become immune to the law and that can not be charged with the treason that they commit every day against this country and it’s CITIZENS.

    • askeptic says

      They were counting “migration”, which is between the “several States”, not “immigration”, which is from other countries.

  2. askeptic says

    That’ll leave more room for Venezuelan refugees.

  3. The Captive says

    What about the illegal and terrorists that pass as Mexican that come over from MOST LIKELY TERRORIST COUNTRIES FIANANCED BY SOROS?
    These are invaders of the top order and deserve to be taken out-If they can’t be stopped one way then try another way to stop them.

  4. Mr. Pickle says

    Because of 30 years of Democrat control of our Legislature, the Taxes and Cost of living are pushing folks out. Seniors are saying “Adios” to Ca and taking their money with them. They cannot afford to live here. Recently, for example, folks in rural counties or forested areas got whacked with $500 increase on home owners insurance due to fires (to pay for claims in North Bay and Butte fire claims) and watch your car insurance go up also, especially if you have a vintage car in your garage, premiums went up 20% in some zip codes. Add in SB-1 and massive fuel tax increases and DMV Fee escalation, 2% more each year and property taxes, the only people left will be richest 2% and the poor sucking the funds of Ca for welfare, assistance, so called “earned Income” and high taxes on basically ANYTHING you buy these days. Paint Fee, Wood Fee, High Permit costs, TV disposal Fee, Tire Fee when you buy a new car, and my personal favorite now is the $10 Fee on any kind of a ticket from law enforcement including a parking ticket, etc. Pretty much anything you buy has a FEE on it, and oh, those fees are included in retail prices, so you get to pay Sales Taxes on the fees also……. Water Fee’s are coming too. And what about San Jose Real Estate? A Million dollars for a 1950/60 piece of crap house in a bad neighborhood! Are you kidding me??????????
    Thank you DEMOCRAT socialists for all you do. NOT! 🙁

  5. Populations losing because of housing costs? But they won’t give up their salaries, which are keyed to a cost of living. Move to Fresno and their income would drop dramatically. So suck it up, if you want to earn your income in a cesspool there are consequences.
    Actually, if the whole peninsula slid off into the ocean and there was a loss of 100% it would be a plus, not a minus, to the history of mankind.
    Just saying. San Francisco adds nothing to the wellbeing of day to day Citizens. Certainly could do quite well without them.

  6. CaliExpat says

    Glad we were able to cash out near the top before the economy slows down and prices soften….unless the big earthquake hits and resets prices 30-40% like it did after Northridge…
    We made enough….

  7. There is something wrong with the Democrat voters that created this state legislature. The one sentence in the article that says it all is “One wonders if those who cite housing and other cost-of-living hardships as reasons to flee are making the connection between those conditions and California’s one-party rule.”

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