The big move: a California exodus

Californians are fleeing their home state at a faster rate than ever.


While California continues to be one of the most popular states for tourism, the decreasing number of residents in the seaside state proves that the fast-paced and expensive lifestyle is not for everyone. The beautiful beaches, summer weather, and star-studded streets sound amazing on paper, but it comes with a price for most California natives. The highest tax rate in the nation and constantly overcrowded cities and streets are a few of the issues turning Californians to other states.

U-Haul ranked California last place for state growth last year, growing by only 0.5%, which does not surprise many people. It seems that everyone you talk to in the Golden State has thought about moving at least once in the past year. Where are they moving to? Well one common fleeing place was just ranked first in growth by U-Haul: Tennessee.

One family making the big move from Orange County to Nashville happens to be my own. Running to the Volunteer State just days after graduation, my family already has preparations in place. When asked where we were moving from during a recent trip to Tennessee, no local was surprised to hear that we hail from California. They all welcomed us with open arms to their wide open state and slower paced lifestyle. Us west coast natives notice many differences in the southern states, including hospitality, rolling hills, real seasons, and lower prices.

My sister, freshman Shawna McMahon, is excited about her upcoming move. She has never lived outside her home state, but the prospect of starting over in a new atmosphere intrigues her and many other Californians.

“Even though I’m going to miss my friends and Santa Margarita, I’m excited for new experiences in Tennessee,” said McMahon. “It will be fun to meet new people who come from different backgrounds and learn what it’s like to grow up in Tennessee.”

California is such a beautiful coastal state with enough activities to last a lifetime, but it has unfortunately started to lose its appeal to states where money stretches further and life moves slower. Native Californians who are proud of their home state can only hope for a resurgence in popularity in the future, but for now, we should enjoy the Golden State sunshine while we can, because life may relocate us soon.