California, once an epicenter of population growth and economic opportunity, is losing more residents to other states than it is taking in, according to a new study by the Manhattan Institute. Released in September 2012, "The Great California Exodus: A Closer Look" reports that California has lost 3.4 million residents since 1990 through migration to other states, including Oregon and mostly western and southern states.
The study reflects a troubling trend for the golden state, which during the post-war years became a popular destination for Americans seeking opportunity and a better life. In the last 20 years, California has lost roughly 80 percent of the net domestic migration gained during the previous 30 years. The population shift also has financial implications as relocating Californians take their money with them. While foreign immigration continues at a steady pace, foreign immigrants are typically poor and may initially consume more wealth through public programs than they create.