Study: There was no California ‘mass exodus’ amid pandemic, but more people are leaving the Bay Area

California
A person wearing a mask runs on a path in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco during the coronavirus pandemic on Nov. 30, 2020. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

A person wearing a mask runs on a path in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco during the coronavirus pandemic on Nov. 30, 2020. (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

The number of Californians leaving the Bay Area has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly from San Francisco, according to a new study released Thursday.

Despite suggestions of a California exodus to other states in recent months, most who leave that region do not move far, though many Sierra counties saw a large influx of migrants from San Francisco compared with 2019.

The share of residents leaving the state has grown since 2015 — from 16% to 18% — a trend that continued in 2020 with “no marked increase,” the report from the nonpartisan California Policy Lab said.

“While a mass exodus from California clearly didn’t happen in 2020, the pandemic did change some historical patterns. For example, fewer people moved into the state to replace those who left,” Natalie Holmes, research fellow at the California Policy Lab, said in a statement. “At the county level, however, San Francisco is experiencing a unique and dramatic exodus, which is causing 50% or 100% increases in Bay Area in-migration for some counties in the Sierras.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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