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Survey says half of Bay Area residents want to leave California

The SF office of Chicago-based public relations firm Edelman released its annual Trust Barometer for California, which surveyed 1,500 California residents (including 500 from the Bay Area) about attitudes on technology, the economy, and the state of the state.

Like last year, Edelman found that a majority of Californians polled—53 percent—say they are considering moving out of the state, citing the cost of housing and the overall cost of living as the most likely reasons.

The survey does not specify how Bay Area residents feel about their future prospects in the Golden State. However, an Edelman spokesperson tells Curbed SF that after examining only the Bay Area sample, it appears the region split right down the middle this year, with 50 percent of those polled “considering moving away because of the high cost of living.”

That figure leaps to 66 percent among Bay Area millennials polled and 63 percent among parents with kids under the age of 18.

Also in the Edelman sample:

  • Among Bay Area residents, 76 percent say housing is a “very serious” issue for the state, up from 72 percent statewide.
  • Sixty-eight percent agree with the statement, “[B]usinesses make large profits while draining our local resources and straining our infrastructure. They owe it to the public to contribute more to solving our local problems.” Statewide it’s 63 percent.
  • In the Bay Area, 57 percent say that they trust the tech industry to do the right thing. However, that figure plummets to 34 percent when asked about social media. That means overall trust in tech is up since last year (when 54 percent agreed with the same question) while faith in social media remains essentially interchangeable with last year’s dismal results.
  • Even more intriguing: When Edelman asked tech workers in the Bay Area specifically what their biggest concerns are about the tech industry, only 43 percent said they’re concerned that the industry is driving up the cost of housing. The biggest concerns: lack of privacy and data security threats, which tied for first place with 57 percent each.

You can read the full results of the Edelman California survey here.

For years now public opinion polls have shown Californians in general and Bay Area residents anxious about the state of the Golden State and pondering relocation.

Nevertheless, the state’s population continues to grow, with immigration being the biggest contributor.

This is particularly true in Silicon Valley, where a recent think tank report estimates that 17 percent of workers in “highly technical occupations” are native Californians, with 40 percent hailing from India or China and 29 percent from other non-U.S. countries.


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