Commentary

Leaving California

For the first time, more Americans are moving are moving out of California than moving in: Although the state’s population continues to grow because of immigration, more people left California in the last half of the 1990s than moved in from other states, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today. More than 1.4 million people in the U.S. migrated to California from 1995 to 2000, while 2.2 million left ââ?¬â?? the highest migration numbers in the country. That exodus is “unprecedented,” said Hans P. Johnson, a demographer with the Public Policy Institute of California, an independent San Francisco research organization. Why are so many people leaving? “The No. 1 reason people move to and from California is because of jobs,” said Johnson. Much has been made of businesses leaving the state, so it would make sense that job-seekers go where the jobs are. Good thing we have competition among the states. Don’t like one state? You can move. Migration trends are strongly tied to the economy, and they send strong signals to state legislatures. But is anyone in Sacramento listening?

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.