Jul 01, 2011 5:58 PM GMT
California isn't what it used to be. Sure, America's most populous state, with 37.3 million people, is still home to Hollywood, "The OC," Silicon Valley and other cultural and economic engines. But for average Americans, the state seems to have lost its appeal.
No longer is California the larger-than-life destination where anything's possible -- the pot of gold at the end of our collective path westward.
It's too crowded and pricey for that.
Census data outlines the state's fall from grace. California grew at a slower rate from 2000 to 2010 than in any period since statehood in 1850, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released this year. Put another way: This is the biggest population slump in California's history.
Many middle class people are leaving the state for Texas, Colorado, Nevada and Arizona, where taxes and the cost of living are lower. In the past decade, 1.5 million more people left California for other states than came to California from another part of the United States, according to analysis from the Public Policy Institute of California.