SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Newly-released census numbers show residents are fleeing California and San Diego County in sizable numbers.
10News found Angie Romero in Lemon Grove outside a U-Haul trailer, packed with rented wine barrels she will be using as decor for her 50th birthday party. She'll likely be renting another U-Haul in the not-so-distant future.
"The cost of living puts you in another mindset. I'm getting older and start wondering about my future," said Romero.
Romero, who works in sales, plans on packing up and leaving the state within the next two years. One reason: the rent for her City Heights apartment.
"I've lived there three years, and every year it's gone up either $50 or $75," said Romero.
Romero is hardly alone. San Diego’s median rent rose 3.9 percent to $2,548 compared to 2.8 percent in the rest of the country, according to Zillow. Home values rose 10.1 percent to $581,100.
According to the latest census numbers, in the year-span ending July 2017, adding up all the people moving into and out of California translates into a net loss of 138,000 people. In San Diego County, there is also an apparent exodus with a net loss of nearly 16,000 people in the year ending in July 2017. In the previous year, there was a loss of 8,300 people.
Based on the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, most of those leaving are lower income. Some are middle income.
Sharon Robinson, sales manager at Johnson Storage and Moving, says she's seen the local exodus pick up the last few years, led by residents fed up with housing costs and taxes headed to lower-cost states like Nevada, Arizona and Texas. Other states favored by Californians include Colorado, Idaho, Florida, Washington and Oregon.