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Study: There Is No Mass Exodus From California

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Despite reports of an exodus from California, there is no evidence of an abnormal increase of residents planning to leave the state, according to a recent study.

Slow population growth, high-profile tech companies and billionaires moving out of the state, and the loss of a congressional seat -- it may give the impression that the population is leaving in great numbers, but that's not actually the case, according to results of a survey released Wednesday by the University of California. The research is part of a larger study led by UC to assess whether there is, in fact, an exodus as some claim.

The study also found that the majority of Californians still believe in the "California Dream", which is that the state is widely seen as a lucky place and a land of opportunity and good fortune.

It also found there is no evidence of a "millionaire flight" from California. California's economy attracts as much venture capital as all other states combined.

The research draws on the U.S. Census, consumer credit histories, homeownership rates, venture capital investments, information from the Franchise Tax Board, and public opinion.

The project includes studies conducted by scholars at UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego, as well as Cornell University, and Stanford University.

About the study's results, UC Regent John A. Pérez said:

"Sliced and diced by geography, race, income and other demographic factors, our efforts have produced a clearer picture of who perceives California as the Golden State versus a failed state.  The empirical data will be, at once, disappointing to those who want to write California's obituary, as well as a call to action for policymakers to address the challenges that have caused some to lose faith in the California Dream."

A declining birth rate, reductions in immigration, and an increase in deaths because of the coronavirus – which killed 51,000 people in California in 2020 – are being blamed for the state's first population decline in its history.

The state Department of Finance says it expects California to add population next year.

California has seen more people leave than move in from other states for much of the last three decades. However, that had been more than offset by immigration and births.

The state's population has become a political issue this year in light of the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, with Republicans blaming high taxes and the governor's policies for people fleeing the state.

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