Californians flee for better-run states, study finds

The U.S. Census reported last year that residents of California are fleeing the state at a faster rate than people leaving any other state. The most common state-to-state move in 2010 was California to Texas, according to the Census.

Californians are fleeing in droves to live in better-managed states, according to a conservative research group.

The long-running exodus from the cash-strapped Golden State is an old story, but a new study by The Manhattan Institute finds that the biggest beneficiaries of the population drain are Texas, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Georgia and South Carolina. Lower cost of living, less government debt and a more business-friendly culture are the main drivers, according to the study.

“States that have gained the most at California’s expense are rated as having better business climates,” the study concluded. “The data suggest that many cost drivers —taxes, regulations, the high price of housing and commercial real estate, costly electricity, union power, and high labor costs — are prompting businesses to locate outside California, thus helping to drive the exodus.”

Census data shows that more Americans have left California since 2005 than have come to live in it. The finding is a sharp contrast to earlier decades — 4.2 million Americans moved to California from other states between 1960 and 1990.

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