Analysis: The Bay Area Exodus Explained - NBC Bay Area
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Analysis: The Bay Area Exodus Explained

An analysis by NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit finds the number of outgoing residents did not surpass the number of people moving into the Bay Area until 2016

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    Analysis: The Bay Area Exodus Explained

    The Bay Area's soaring cost of living forced hundreds of thousands of residents to pack up and move over the last eight years in what many are calling an exodus. (Published Monday, June 4, 2018)

    The Bay Area's soaring cost of living forced hundreds of thousands of residents to pack up and move over the last eight years in what many are calling an exodus.

    But, an analysis by NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit found the number of outgoing residents did not surpass the number of people moving in until 2016.

    This analysis comes as a new poll conducted by the Bay Area Council, a public policy advocacy organization, found that 46 percent of Bay Area residents plan to leave in the next few years.

    According to U.S. Census Mobility Data, 254,041 residents packed up and left the Bay Area between 2011 to 2015. During that same time period, 319,271 people migrated into the Bay Area, which means the region saw an overall net gain of 16,192 people.

    Broken down by metro area:

    For SF/Oakland/Hayward Area from 2011 to 2015:

    • 213,011 people moved in
    • 167,012 people moved out

    For San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara from 2011 to 2015:

    • 106,260 people moved in
    • 87,029 people moved out

    This trend flipped in 2016 and 2017, when outward migration exceeded the number of people moving into the Bay Area. Over the last two years, the Bay Area has experienced a net loss of nearly 24,000 residents.

    A recent study conducted by Redfin found that many Bay Area residents migrate to other parts of the U.S. for more affordable housing. The most popular destination has been Sacramento.

    New data from the Bay Area Council’s poll suggests this trend of outward migration, fueled by soaring home prices and cost of living in the Bay Area, shows no sign of slowing down.

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