It’s not a secret that people have been fleeing California in droves for several years, especially under the rule of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who faces a high-momentum recall effort from those who are left in the Golden State.
According to Fox News, California might soon finally feel the pain of losing all of those former residents, as there is a very real possibility that after the U.S. Census Bureau releases its numbers taken from the 2020 census, the state could lose one congressional seat, which would mark the first time in history that the state would incur such a devastating loss.
What’s going on?
One only has to look back at the last decade to see that California is apparently no longer a desirable final destination for most Americans, as the population growth rate has sunk to a humiliating, 120-year low of 0.06%.
Though the state still enjoys the power of having 53 congressional seats due to the overall population, if the numbers shake out like many are predicting, they could lose one of those seats, dropping the state to 52 representatives.
Interestingly, California is one of nine total states expected to lose a congressional seat but is the only one in the western part of the country facing such a predicament. Others are located northeast and in the midwestern part of the United States.
“What you’re seeing is a continuation of the trend that’s been happening from the 1930s: people leaving the Northeast and Upper Midwest and going south and west,” said Kimball Brace, the president of Election Data Services, noting that California seems to be the exception to that rule.
California’s only saving grace could be a potential payoff from a $200 million program initiated by several state leaders in a consensus outreach program leading up to the 2020 census, with the goal at the time of counting as many residents as possible to avoid congressional power and to qualify for much-needed federal funding.
Why are people leaving?
There are a number of reasons why many believe residents of the state are fleeing what used to literally be the most desirable destination in America.
Some believe one of the main causes is the unbelievably high costs of living and ridiculously high tax rates. Only those making millions from the entertainment or tech industries seem to be able to afford daily life in California. For most Americans, the high cost of virtually everything in California is more suited for a week-long vacation, at best.
Others have blamed Newsom’s mismanagement of many aspects of state government, including the out-of-control wildfire situations that seem to crop up almost every year, along with his disastrous handling of restrictions and lockdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Notably, Republican-led states such as Florida and Texas are thriving, as far as population growth is concerned. Because of low tax rates, affordable living, lower homelessness, and all-around better conditions, states like Florida and Texas are expected to gain congressional seats as a result of their rapid population growth.
Only time will tell if California continues to lose congressional seats due to population decline, but it’s certainly not out of the question as more Americans pack up and head out of what was once a great American state in which to reside.