People Fleeing California Cost State $24B, Study Finds

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a Clean California event in San Francisco, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Outmigration to other states cost California $24 billion in outgoing personal incomes across 2021 and 2022, according to new IRS data. Departing Californians were significantly wealthier and more likely to have children or spouses than incoming Americans, suggesting wealthy families are leaving the state as poorer individuals come to seek their California dream.

California lost a net 144,203 tax filers in the two years, representing $24 billion in lost personal adjusted gross income for the state. Those leaving the state had 38% more dependents or joint filers on their tax returns and an average AGI of $130,946, while those coming in had an average AGI of $111,689, or about 15% less income than those leaving.