Why are People Moving Out of Los Angeles and Where Do They Go

April 20, 2022 / Posted in City Guides
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

People packing up and moving out of Los Angeles, California, is a trend that has remained a constant for several years now. Have you ever heard of the term California exodus? While many of us still believe that being an Angeleno is a dream come true, let’s figure out why is everyone leaving Los Angeles.

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One in ten Angelenos plan to leave their beloved metropolis behind and seek happiness somewhere else

Since the Coronavirus pandemic has started, many things have changed, including the way we view life. Many of us now have more different reasons to move to another part of the country than before. In truth, people are leaving Los Angeles, too, however unlikely it may sound. Why leave this bustling city, the center of the country’s television and film industry? And could the pandemic relocation trends be the only motive that drives Angelenos to move to another state?

The California Exodus Has Led to a Decrease of Population in the Golden State

It’s no secret that the Golden State has seen several population booms since it gained statehood. It has gone the Gold Rush boom, one after WWII, and the latest in the ’80s and ’90s started by the booming tech industry in Silicon Valley. Throughout the years, many chose to move from a small town to a big city in California to enjoy many things. From the near-perfect weather and a laidback lifestyle to the endless new job opportunities for techies, LA’s always called out to both individuals and families.

Studies have said that around 10% of residents of California are considering investing in long-distance moving services and planning to say bye to friends. That’s an increase of almost 40% compared to the 2019 trends, according to the USC Dornsife survey. It said that the state has gone through a net migration loss of over 135,000 people in 2020 because of the number of residents that have moved out. Hence the term California Exodus has emerged. But what is influencing Angelenos to make this decision may be beyond the pandemic-related causes.

A woman packing a suitcase before cross country moving
Are you among the Angelenos that will call cross-country movers and move elsewhere?

Instead of Looking at Who’s Moving Out of LA, Let’s Consider the Reasons

Living in LA’s vicinity has always meant more than just being near the iconic Hollywood sign or being able to see a movie start in the middle of the day. People have moved to the suburbs of this place, as well as to its core, to seek job opportunities. After all, it remains to be the third city in the world by GDP with a robust economy and diversity in industries. And yet, people are leaving Los Angeles, so let’s see why.


Many US Residents Leave LA Because They Believe the Quality of Life Has Declined

When we look at the scale for life satisfaction, where 1 is low, and 7 is high satisfaction with the quality of living, the average in this city has decreased. It has dropped from 4.4 to 4.3, and while it doesn’t seem that significant when you combine it with other issues, you come near the motives behind moving from Los Angeles.

The survey shows that consumer confidence in this place has risen recently, and the general safety concerns are less common, but other issues have emerged. For those living in Los Angeles, loitering has proven to be a rising concern.

Spending Time and Living in LA Remains Expensive

Let’s not beat around the bush here – the cost of living in LA is high, as is in whole California, and your job just might not cut it. If you weren’t so lucky to land a position in the tech or entertainment industry, you may be struggling to make ends meet each month. While you may expect an average monthly salary of around $5,800, according to Numbeo, the overall cost of living is still much higher than the average national.

If you want to hear some of the reasons for leaving LA behind from an Angeleno, watch the following video.

Millennials and Other Generations Are Moving Out of Los Angeles and Finding Their Way to Other States and Cities

We’ve considered what it is that drives Angelenos to contact a long-distance moving company, estimate the value of household goods, and ask for their packing service so they can help them leave. But, the question remains – where are Californians moving to 2022, and where do they make their home? Here’s a list of popular destinations for those relocating to a city alone or with families:

  • Austin in Texas is one of the most desired cities for ex-Angelenos. Many things drive LA’s residents to pack up and move to Austin to find a home there. First of all, it’s the affordable cost of living, and there’s the thriving tech scene for all those techies escaping LA. Let’s not forget to mention that Austin is a beautiful place, with river access and bike and hike trails for the outdoorsy types that love to spend time close to nature.
  • Perhaps it doesn’t come to mind when you think about another haven for techies, but Boise in Idaho is actually another great and fastly growing technological hub. It’s also a lovely place to live in, just like Austin, but without any problems with traffic. It’s safe to say you can invest in an auto transport service and bring your car here, without any fear of jams.
  • The whole of Arizona is a perfect place for lovers of the outdoors and beautiful natural scenery. But for those that are about to leave LA behind, the state capital is perhaps the most appealing. It’s mostly because of the cost of living in Phoenix, which is significantly lower than in LA. And if you’re worried about leaving the near-perfect climate, you’ll be delighted to know that this place offers sunny and mild weather that lasts nearly throughout the whole year. That makes relocating to Phoenix an excellent choice.
  • Florida is a usual choice for Angelenos looking for a similar coastal vibe to call their home. And besides the laid back atmosphere and beaches, it also has opportunities in tech similar to those in California. If you’re not sure about which specific area in Florida is the best for you, we can suggest Orlando as one of the best places to live in in the US, according to some reports.

Although LA’s residents who want to hire long-distance movers and a car shipping company to help them leave this metropolis may seek other places, these are the most popular locations. They are in some ways similar to LA and California in general, in the sense that they either offer the same climate or job opportunities, but they are mostly appealing for their lower costs.

The Time for the Decision Draws Near – Where Should I Move After LA?

If you’re not sure which of these places is right for you, you can take a look at the following table, where we compare the costs in LA with the costs residents living in Phoenix have, and whether living in Austin, Texas, may suit you better. At least where money is concerned.

No data
Rent for a 1 bedroom apartment Rent for a 3 bedroom apartment Home cost (median) Overall costs
LA $1,650 $3,240 $949,000 173
Austin $1,330 $2,300 $580,000 120
Boise $1,190 $1,920 $548,000 104
Phoenix $1,210 $1,830 $442,000 103
Orlando $1,200 $1,800 $205,000 104
USA $1,164 N/A $375,000 100 (national av.)

Let’s Look at the Most Popular Location – Austin, Texas

It really doesn’t matter whether you’re going to move out of state on a budget or you’re getting organized to move with substantial funds in your account. Even if you’ve made a sudden decision and you’re going to prepare for a last-minute move, it won’t change the fact that Austin is a destination worth a little struggle to get to and become a new local.

Perhaps another important piece of information (right beside the affordability of this place) is that Austin has an unemployment rate that is well below the US average. It’s also experiencing growth in many industries, and work positions are one of the most important things to consider when relocating for a job. You may land a job in major tech companies, such as Amazon, Apple, PayPal, or Nintendo, or seek a career change and find work in pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Option Number 2 – Boise, Idaho

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Forbes has ranked this region on the top spot. It is there not only due to the population growth but also because of the qualities of life such as great salaries and high employment rates. Research claims that almost 26% of migrants that moved to Boise in recent years were Californians.

The unemployment rate is below 2,3%, while those who had enough hot weather for a lifetime will enjoy all four seasons here. Additionally, you get to enjoy the breathtaking outdoors where you can practice all kinds of sports and activities. It may satisfy even those that dreamed about the best mountain towns to raise a family but had to settle for another option – it’s just that beautiful. On top of it all, in 2017, this place was ranked as the 8th safest city globally by MSN.

The Place That Sits Firmly at the Third Place – Phoenix, Arizona

So, you’ve maybe had enough of the hot summer vibe LA and California have to offer, but you still don’t want to give up on the sun. What are your options, then? Phoenix is one of the best destinations for Angelenos seeking warm weather and year-round sunny days. It means that relocating to the Valley of the Sun doesn’t imply paying for storage service to store all your summer stuff, although it may come in handy for some bulky ol’ furniture.

The job market here is thriving, and the major industries are attracting many young professionals. The highest-paid work positions can be found in the tech corporations but also in the oil and gas extraction industry. It means that it won’t be a problem to get a job before you move.

The Last, but Not the Least – Orlando, Florida

Being perhaps the best pick for millennials and maybe even Zoomers, Orlando has the median age of the local population just above 37 years. There are plenty of opportunities here for higher education, but also an excellent and strong job market for young professionals seeking new positions. The city’s mostly known for the Universal Studios and Walt Disney World, but it’s appealing for several other reasons, too. Low-cost housing, new employment opportunities, and low taxes are all benefits driving people, and among them many Angelenos to pick an auto transport company and inquire about the cost of an interstate move.

The view over the lake after long-distance moving
Orlando will provide you with hot summers that last long and cool winters that are over in a blink of an eye

Why Are People Still Moving to LA?

With all these disadvantages that some Angelenos see in LA, with the emphasis on the cost of living, many US citizens consider relocating to Los Angeles a dream come true. After all, this is the place that offers unparalleled opportunities in the film and entertainment industry, and Hollywood is that one thing many future stars have in mind when they visualize their career path. When you combine it with the beach town vibe and warm weather, you realize why LA still calls to many, and the pandemic hasn’t changed that fact as much as we believe.

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