PHOENIX - More than half of California residents have considered packing up and moving out of state within the last year, and 63% of them have considered Arizona
Within the last year, about 60,000 former Californians moved to Arizona, according to numbers from a recent survey by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC).
“This is knowledge, workers, companies. We’re a magnet for people who want to relocate out of high tax and high-cost areas," says GPEC CEO, Chris Camacho.
Even in spite of a slowed down COVID-19 world, Californians look to Arizona because of the cost of living and lower taxes.
"I think we’re going to see net relocations out of New York, Chicago, California, but we’re still going to need to support our small business. 99% of our business are small businesses," Camacho says.
This is good news for Arizona’s economy, he says, because more people means more dollars. Businesses moving here also means more jobs.
“We tend to always have a positive net inflow of residents. However, we’ve seen that go way up," he says.
Kirk Brewer says it’s not just numbers on a page, either. He started the group "California to Arizona" on Facebook to help transplants get acclimated. It’s grown faster than he expected.
“When we started the group, it’s been 4 months, we expected a few hundred members. But it’s exploded, we’re getting ready to hit 2,000 members, and there’s no slow down in sight," Brewer said.
Ronnie Hines-Day is moving to Arizona from California, saying, “I do not want to be in California, I made six figures last year and was still living paycheck to paycheck."
She says Arizona is perfect for her, without it feeling like a small town compared to California.
“Arizona is the perfect place for me. It has the big city feel. I can be remote and get away from the city. It has the good weather I’m used to," she said.