Well-known conservative actor Scott Baio announced last week that he will join the hundreds of thousands of Californians who have fled their failed state, KTLA reported.
The actor, who is known for his roles in “Charles in Charge” and “Happy Days,” posted on Twitter a photo of a homeless encampment in Los Angeles and tweeted that after 45 years in California, he will be exiting “stage right.”
Baio cited a recent survey that found that in 2022, there were around 69,000 homeless in Los Angeles County, 41,000 of them in the city alone.
Last week, the UK Guardian reported that a new state report found that California is continuing to lose population to other states as housing prices and the cost of living continue to increase.
The exodus from deep blue California kicked into high gear during the pandemic. But since then, the state continues to bleed residents. In 2022, the population dropped by 138,000 people, according to the California Department of Finance.
Hans Johnson, a demographer with the Public Policy Institute of California, told the Guardian that the state is still losing residents to other US states even after the pandemic ended.
However, not all demographers agree.
California Finance Department spokesman HD Palmer told the Guardian that the conservative media is overstating its analysis of the California exodus. He argued that forecasts suggest that the state’s population will begin to stabilize after the pandemic, describing the current trend as “waning” rather than “waxing.”
California’s chief demographer, Walter Schwarm, said data from the last six months indicate that the state’s population was starting to return to pre-pandemic patterns suggesting that growth will resume slowly in the coming years. Schwarm also noted that the state’s birthrate increased slightly and foreign migration to the state is returning after stalling during the pandemic.
But according to Hans Johnson, California may be gaining population among those with higher degrees, but it is losing population among the working class. He said the high cost of living, especially in housing, is a “huge factor” in forcing people to relocate out of state.