California loses 500,000 residents in 2 years as Americans flee high costs, COVID restrictions
California's population fell by 500,000 people between April 2020 and July 2022 as residents fled the state in droves to find greener pastures.
Census data showed migration out of the state surpassed those coming into the state by more than 700,000 throughout the two-year period, according to the Los Angeles Times. California's major cities have been plagued with homelessness, crime and skyrocketing housing costs, causing many residents to flee to nearby states like Utah, Nevada and even Texas.
Despite the shrinkage, California remains the most populated U.S. state with some 38 million residents.
- California's population keeps declining, US census data shows
- California's population falls for 2nd straight year
- California exodus: Many leaving state amid COVID-19 pandemic
Only New York came close to matching California's exodus, with the Empire State losing roughly 485,000 residents between 2020 and 2022.
Californians who remain in the state are also likely to face frequent power outages and failures in the coming years as state leaders continue to push for renewable energy.
The state's grid is undergoing a major shift from natural gas and coal power to renewable power like wind and solar. Simultaneously, state officials are pushing an electrification of the economy, particularly in the transportation sector through electric vehicle mandates, which is expected to increase pressure on the power grid.
"They're going to have to build an outrageous amount of wind and solar in a very short time if they want to accomplish their objectives of electrifying – our whole transportation sector and our whole home heating and cooling and residential sector," Edward Ring, a senior fellow with and co-founder of the California Policy Center, told Fox News Digital on Tuesday.
"There's a burden to the consumer that's going to get very heavy," he continued. "Even if they can pull it off without blackouts, the burden to the consumer is going to be ridiculous."
Fox News' Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report.