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The Great Escape – What is the Best State to Move From California

Posted in Coping With Relocation,Moving Tips & Tricks on July 26, 2023

As the sun-kissed beaches, vibrant cities, and awe-inspiring landscapes of California cast their spell on residents and visitors alike, it’s no wonder the Golden State has long been a dream destination. But in this guide, we delve into a question – what is the best state to move from California? Join us as we unravel a tapestry of possibilities, exploring the charms, opportunities, and unique allure of various destinations across the United States.

While the answer to the question of the best state to move from California ultimately depends on individual preferences and circumstances, there are a few states that consistently emerge as popular choices. One such state is Oregon, with its lush landscapes, vibrant arts scene, and laid-back lifestyle that appeals to those seeking a slower pace. Another enticing option is Texas, renowned for its booming job market, affordable housing, and no state income tax. Additionally, Colorado’s breathtaking natural beauty, thriving outdoor recreation, and a strong sense of community make it a compelling choice for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers.

What Are the Main Reasons People Are Leaving California?

California, a state known for its allure and opportunities, has witnessed a notable trend of residents seeking new pastures outside its borders. According to the Los Angeles Times, in just one year, from July 2021 to July 2022, California experienced an unprecedented exodus with a staggering net move-out figure of 407,000 people.

The high cost of living in California has become a significant factor driving people away. Escalating housing prices, soaring taxes, and exorbitant healthcare expenses can place a heavy burden on individuals and families. The benefits of moving to another state beckon with promises of affordability, enhanced quality of life, and new opportunities waiting to be seized.

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What Are Your Reasons for the Relocation?

Here is a list of all the primary reasons why people are moving from the Golden State:

  • Escalating housing costs and high cost of living,
  • The heavy tax burden,
  • Traffic congestion and overcrowding,
  • Quality of education or desire for better schools,
  • Crime rates and safety concerns,
  • Environmental factors like drought and wildfires,
  • Seeking a change in climate or weather preferences,
  • A desire for a slower pace of life or a more relaxed atmosphere.

What Should You Look Into When Looking for the Best State to Move From California?

When considering relocating, there are several crucial factors to explore. Organizing a move involves careful research and planning to ensure you find the best fit for your needs. From the cost of living to job opportunities, lifestyle, and education, each aspect is vital in determining your future destination.

On top of this, hiring cross-country movers can ease the transition and provide essential support during this exciting yet challenging time. However, you also need time to research legitimate cross-country moving companies. Since there is a lot that goes into the planning process, let’s first delve into the factors that can guide you in finding the best place to relocate to.

Cost of Living and Affordability

The cost of living in another state can significantly impact your financial well-being and overall quality of life. Moving cross country to a state with a lower cost of living allows you to stretch your budget further, providing greater financial freedom. Consider the affordability of housing, taxes, utilities, and everyday expenses. A great website to visit when researching the cost of living in different locations is Numbeo.

For example, you may find that in some states, you can live on your own without roommates, own a spacious home with a backyard, or save more for future goals. If you need to relocate with children, researching the cost and quality of education, healthcare, and childcare services is crucial to ensure a smooth transition and a bright future for your little ones.

Person counting money
Grab your pen and paper and calculate what your expenses will be in a certain location!

Job Opportunities and Economic Landscape

Exploring the job opportunities and economic landscape of your prospective new state is paramount. Research industries that are thriving and have a strong presence in the area. Look for sectors that align with your professional background or offer promising growth potential.

Websites, job boards, and networking platforms can be valuable resources in the quest to find a job before or after moving to a new state. Additionally, consider the unemployment rate, average salaries, and business climate of the region.

Lifestyle and Recreation

Moving away from friends and familiar surroundings can be a significant adjustment, and moving is often considered traumatic for most. Therefore, considering the lifestyle and recreation opportunities in your prospective new state is vital for a smooth transition and overall happiness.

Reflect on the activities, amenities, and cultural offerings that matter most to you. Are you seeking a bustling city with a vibrant arts scene, or do you crave the serenity of nature and outdoor activities? Consider the social and community dynamics, as forging new friendships and connections will contribute to a sense of belonging in a different environment.

Education and Schools

For families with school-age children, evaluating the educational system and schools in the prospective state is essential. Look for states that prioritize education and have exceptional school systems. Consider factors such as school rankings, teacher-to-student ratios, extracurricular activities, and opportunities for advanced learning.

States like Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut are often recognized for their outstanding educational systems and can provide a nurturing environment for your children’s academic growth and success.

Woman in a yellow jacket holding books
Before deciding, make sure to take all of these factors into consideration

Embracing Nevada – Why Moving From California to the Silver State Makes Sense

Nevada presents a compelling case for Californians seeking a fresh start. One of the primary reasons to consider the move is the favorable tax environment. Nevada boasts no state income tax, providing residents with increased financial freedom and allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money.

Furthermore, the cost of living in Nevada is generally lower compared to many parts of California, with affordable housing options and lower overall expenses. This affordability allows individuals and families to stretch their budgets further and make their dollars go a long way.

Also, Nevada offers diverse communities, each with charm and character, making it easier to decide where to live based on individual preferences. From the bustling city life of Las Vegas to the picturesque charm of Lake Tahoe, Nevada offers a range of options to suit different lifestyles and aspirations.

A picture of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas
You can choose to live in the Las Vegas excitement and fun

Nevada Is a Paradise for Outdoor Recreation

Moving to a new home in Nevada opens the door to a world of outdoor adventure and recreational opportunities. The state’s diverse landscape is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

From the stunning Sierra Nevada mountain range to the vast expanse of the Great Basin Desert, Nevada offers a wealth of natural wonders to explore. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, skiing, and boating throughout the year.

Lake Tahoe, renowned for its crystal-clear waters and scenic beauty, provides a hub for water sports and relaxation. Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire State Park offer breathtaking views and fantastic hiking trails.

A man posing on the Red Rock Canyon
Nevada's outdoor recreation options are ideal for people living an active lifestyle

Washington State Is Ideal for Those Seeking a State With a Lower Crime Rate

When considering moving across the country to a different state, safety and security are paramount concerns. Washington State stands out as an excellent choice for those seeking a place with a low crime rate. According to WalletHub, Washington State ranks among the safest states in the nation.

In 2023, Washington State stands out with a violent crime rate 14% lower than the national average, indicating a safer atmosphere when compared to the country as a whole. Whether you’re planning a move alone or with your family, Washington State offers a secure environment where you can thrive. As you compile your moving-out list, consider the benefits of relocating to a place known for its commitment to safety.

It Will Almost Feel Like You Never Left California

One of the remarkable aspects of moving to Washington State is the feeling of familiarity that awaits Californians seeking a change of scenery. Washington offers several similarities to California that can make the transition feel seamless. The stunning natural landscapes, ranging from breathtaking coastlines to majestic mountains, offer a reminiscent beauty of California’s diverse geography.

The Pacific Northwest charm, combined with a progressive mindset and a passion for outdoor activities, creates an environment where Californians can plan a relocation and find a new home that feels like an extension of the Golden State.

Watch the video below to see what city you can relocate to within this state.

Texas Is the Perfect Location If You Are Searching For Affordable Housing

Texas offers a plethora of affordable housing options and opportunities. The Lone Star State is known for its relatively lower housing costs compared to many other parts of the country. Whether you’re looking to rent an apartment or purchase a home, Texas provides a range of affordable housing options to suit various budgets and lifestyles.

In cities like Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, you can find neighborhoods with diverse housing options at competitive prices. Additionally, the favorable housing market in Texas allows homebuyers to negotiate house prices and potentially secure a more affordable deal.

Texas Is a State With a Strong Economy

Texas boasts a robust and thriving economy that attracts individuals and businesses alike. With its business-friendly environment, Texas offers numerous job opportunities across various industries.

The state’s economy is diverse, with sectors such as energy, technology, healthcare, manufacturing, and agriculture contributing to its strength. Cities like Houston are renowned for their flourishing energy sector, while Austin has become a hub for technology and innovation.

Major corporations and startups alike find Texas appealing due to its favorable tax policies and supportive business climate. The state’s strong economy provides individuals with the potential for career growth and financial stability. Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to start a business or a professional seeking new job prospects, Texas offers a wealth of opportunities to thrive and succeed.

View of Austin, Texas
If searching for a tech job, better relocate to Austin

Move to Arizona for Sports and Adventure

Are you a sports enthusiast seeking thrilling adventures all year round? Look no further than Arizona, a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and sports lovers alike. With its diverse landscapes, from majestic mountains to stunning desert landscapes, Arizona offers a plethora of activities for every adventurer.

Hike through the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon, challenge yourself with rock climbing in Sedona, or hit the slopes in Flagstaff during the winter months. If you’re into water sports, the picturesque lakes of Arizona, like Lake Powell and Lake Havasu, beckon with opportunities for boating, kayaking, and fishing. The state’s sunny weather and vast open spaces also make it an ideal location for golfing, biking, and exploring off-road trails.

For additional unexpected benefits of living in Arizona, watch the video below.

Get Ready to Embrace a Lower Cost of Living

Beyond its thrilling outdoor activities, Arizona also offers the advantage of a lower cost of living, making it an attractive choice for individuals and families alike. Compared to many other states in the US, Arizona boasts affordable housing options, with a range of apartments, condos, and single-family homes to fit various budgets.

Utility costs tend to be lower here, especially during the mild winters that reduce the need for excessive heating expenses. Arizona also provides residents with various tax benefits and exemptions, further lightening the financial burden.

If you’re considering relocating to Arizona, check out the website AreaVibes, which offers valuable insights and data on different neighborhoods, including the cost of living, crime rates, school ratings, and amenities, helping you make an informed decision about your new home.

Field of cactus during sunset
Arizona is the home to the world's largest cacti - the majestic Saguaro cactus

Choose Oregon For Its Booming Economy

If you’re looking to settle in a place with a thriving economy and abundant opportunities, Oregon should be at the top of your list. With a diverse range of industries, such as technology, manufacturing, agriculture, and renewable energy, Oregon offers a promising job market and a wealth of career prospects.

To ensure you’re making the right choice for your relocation, consider taking a “where should I move quiz” that factors in your preferences and priorities, helping you determine if Oregon is the perfect fit.

Moreover, the state’s commitment to sustainable practices and eco-friendly initiatives contributes to its economic growth and appeal to environmentally-conscious individuals. Embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation that Oregon fosters, and relocate efficiently toward a future brimming with possibilities.

Relocating to Oregon Means Changing Scenery but Staying Close to CA

Oregon provides a fantastic opportunity for a change of scenery without straying too far from California’s vibrant culture. With its stunning natural landscapes, from lush forests and serene lakes to rugged coastlines and majestic mountains, Oregon offers a picturesque and diverse environment.

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast seeking adventure or a lover of arts and culture, Oregon has something to offer. Moreover, its close proximity to California allows you to maintain connections and easily visit friends and family in the neighboring locations.

Trees in front of a scenic view of a body of water
Oregon is home to the deepest lake in the United States - Crater Lake

When You Find a New Home, Hire Cross Country Movers to Help You With the Relocation

With the expertise and professionalism of dedicated long-distance movers from a reputable long-distance moving company like Cross Country Movers, you can trust that your belongings will be handled with utmost care and precision. From providing packing services to navigating the logistics of a cross-country move, our cross-country moving services are designed to ensure a seamless transition to your new home.

Don’t hesitate to contact us at Cross Country Movers to take advantage of our top-notch services and relocate safely cross-country. Let us handle the heavy lifting while you focus on the excitement of starting a new chapter in your life.


What Are the Factors to Consider When Looking for the Best State to Move to From California?

Primary factors include the cost of living, job opportunities, quality of education, healthcare, safety, cultural and recreational amenities, and proximity to family and friends. Additionally, tax rates, weather preferences, and overall lifestyle fit should be taken into account to ensure a smooth transition and a fulfilling life in the new location.

How Do I Determine My Priorities and Goals When Choosing a New State to Live In?

Determining priorities and goals involves self-reflection and research. First, assess personal preferences and needs, such as climate, urban or rural living, access to outdoor activities, and community values. Then, research states that align with these preferences and evaluate job markets, cost of living, educational opportunities, and healthcare facilities.

What Are the Key Factors to Consider Regarding the Cost of Living and Affordability in Different States?

The cost of living and affordability in different states is crucial to consider when relocating. Analyze factors like housing costs, property taxes, state income taxes, utilities, and overall living expenses. Additionally, examine potential changes in healthcare costs and insurance premiums.

How Can I Research Job Opportunities and the Economic Landscape of Potential States?

To research job opportunities and the economic landscape of potential states, utilize online resources, government databases, and job search engines to identify industries and companies that thrive in each location. Evaluate unemployment rates, wage levels, and industry growth projections to gauge the state’s economic health.

What Should I Consider When It Comes to Climate and Natural Beauty in Different States?

Climate and natural beauty play a significant role in the overall living experience. Consider weather preferences, such as tolerance for extreme temperatures or seasonal changes. Research states that it offers the desired natural landscapes, outdoor recreational opportunities, and proximity to coastal areas, mountains, or forests.

How Can I Assess the Lifestyle and Recreational Opportunities in Various States?

Online forums, city-specific websites, and social media groups can provide insights into the local lifestyle and recreational scene. Visiting the states and exploring the communities firsthand can also help in getting a sense of the available amenities and the overall atmosphere.

What Should I Look For in Terms of the Cultural and Social Scene of Different States?

When evaluating the cultural and social scene of different states, consider factors such as diversity and inclusion, local traditions, festivals, museums, theaters, and restaurants representing various cuisines. Look for states that align with your values and offer a cultural scene that can enrich your life and provide a sense of belonging within the community.

What Are the Key Considerations When It Comes to Education and Schools in Potential States?

Key considerations when it comes to education and schools in potential states include researching the quality of public and private schools, standardized test scores, graduation rates, teacher-to-student ratios, and available extracurricular activities. Websites like GreatSchools.org and specific education departments provide valuable data and ratings.

How Do I Balance Personal Preferences and Intuition When Choosing the Best State to Move To?

Make a list of essential factors that matter most to you, such as job opportunities, climate, cost of living, and lifestyle. Compare your options and narrow down the choices based on practical considerations. Once you have a shortlist, envision yourself living in a certain location, assess your emotional response, and reflect on how each location aligns with your long-term goals and aspirations.

Are There Any Resources or Tools Available to Help Me Compare Different States and Make an Informed Decision?

There are several resources and tools available to help you compare different states and make an informed decision. Websites like Niche, BestPlaces, and Livability offer comprehensive data on various aspects of living in different states, including the cost of living, crime rates, education quality, and climate. US government websites such as the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics provide data on demographics, employment, and economic indicators.

Madison Rogers

Born and raised in Houston Madison is a content writer who loves traveling. She has lived in different states and is always eager to share her knowledge with others.

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