California by the numbers
If you google "most beautiful state in the U.S.," it's no surprise that California ranks #1 on most hits — a state described as having it all and "insanely diverse." According to U.S. News & World Report's list of "best states,"1 California ranks #19. The overall ranking takes into account categories like health care (we're #7), infrastructure (#32), opportunity (#49), and natural environment (#5). Forbes ranks California #1 in economic climate, but overall our ranking drops to #31 when evaluating the best states for business.2
Movin' on out
According to U-Haul, which just named its top growth states for 2019, California ranks #49.3 U-Haul ranks their growth states by calculating the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering the state compared to those leaving the state during the calendar year. The #1 growth state for 2019 was Florida, followed by Texas at #2. The only out-migration state worse than California was Illinois. The United Van Lines' National Movers Study confirms this trend, revealing that for 2019, California moved into the top 10 outbound states, debuting at #7.4
Certainly housing costs contribute to the decline in growth. The national median home listing price is $217,600. California ranks #2 for expensive housing, with a median home value of $509,400, outranked only by Hawaii at $617,400.5
So how does the state that ranks #1 in beauty and economic climate justify its ranking as #49 as a growth state based on outbound migration? California needs some good PR because that's a tough statistic to spin.