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5 Major Reasons to Not Live in California

Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

The Inspiration For This Article

California known as “The Golden State” its most famous nickname is a state in the United States that attracts a lot of attention, excitement, paranoia, and people that just want to make it big as an actor or actress. But before you decide to pack up your things and move across the country or world to relocate to California, you should give this article a read. Note: the idea for this article was inspired by the YouTube channel called World According to Briggs. This man has a YouTube channel where he uses detailed commentary, pictures, and has a sense of humor that not everyone uses. He has what I would call a catch phrase where he says: “stop typing.” While this article is biased, it comes from someone that has lived in California most of their life.

Although I generally try to look at the positive side of everything, it can be very hard to do so when you are in a situation as it pertains to living in a state that so many people call home.

Reason #1: the People Are Rude & Aggressive

This article can be thought of as a response to his video called “Top 10 Reasons Not to Move to California” but it will also have some of my own analysis based on life experience. So what are the reasons that someone should not live in California?

  1. The People: before we go any further in this part, let me say that I have met some pretty awesome people in California over the years. However, California also has some of the most rude, aggressive, and fast drivers that like to honk, tailgate, and cut you off. If you have to drive in the freeways, be very careful. Also, I believe that having over 39 million people here, all from very different backgrounds can cause tension, anxiety, crime, racial conflict, and it leads to rudeness among the population. I have noticed that California also does not have this sort of friendliness factor, something that I noticed when I was down in Florida. I miss that Southern hospitality, something that does not exist here in California. This may be a generalization here but there are rude people in California unfortunately. There is a big emphasis on status, money, what kind of clothes that you wear, and everything in California is based on status. Sometimes I feel like California has too many people in it.

Photos of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills & San Francisco, Two of the Most Expensive Places in California

Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive

A view of the city of San Francisco with people traveling in a cable car.

A view of the city of San Francisco with people traveling in a cable car.

Reason for Not Moving to California

If you are planning on making that big move to California, make sure to have lots of cash with you because you will need it.

If you are planning on making that big move to California, make sure to have lots of cash with you because you will need it.

High Rent & Housing Costs

2. Housing: This one is pretty obvious. Housing and rent prices in California are astronomically high, going as high as $700,000 to $800,000 dollars for a home in an exclusive area. California is not a place that I would recommend for middle class income earners.

In fact, Zillow.com lists the median home value in California around $550,800. In addition to this, Zillow also says that home values in this state have gone up 1% in the past year. People have to be ready to really pay the price if they want to live in California. The median price of homes in California that are listed is around $549,000.

Mixed Results for California's Professional Sports Teams

3. Sports Teams: Now this one may not be a reason for most people to not move to California but it is a reason that deserves discussion. Professional sports teams in California are mixed in terms of results. Although the Los Angeles Rams made it to the Super Bowl in February 2019 and the San Jose Sharks made another impressive playoff run, there are sports teams that have declined drastically most notably the Los Angeles Lakers. Since the end of 2013, the Los Angeles Lakers have seen an ownership change and they have missed the playoffs for the past six seasons. Even with the signing of Lebron James this past off-season the Lakers are at a rebuilding phase still and they are horrible! For a franchise that has so much history and tradition, and the second most NBA championships only to the Boston Celtics, this is a franchise that deserves to do much better. The struggles of the Lakers are bad for the city, bad for the organization and bad for the fans that have seen so much success. The same franchise that had star players such as Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and Shaquille O’ Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Jerry West deserves to be a much better team. The Los Angeles Lakers’ struggles can be thought of as a stain on California.

Note: as we update this article the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team recently won the 2020 NBA title beating the Miami Heat 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals but one major victory like this only may improve the quality of the sports teams in California just slightly. Like we mentioned earlier the quality of the sports teams may not necessarily be a reason for some people to move to a particular state but it is something to think about if you are a sports fan.

"Top 10 Reasons to Not Move to California"

Bumper to bumper traffic and gridlock is what a person will see particularly in Los Angeles.

Bumper to bumper traffic and gridlock is what a person will see particularly in Los Angeles.

Reasons 4 and 5: High Income Taxes and Bad Traffic Congestion

Here is some additional perspective on the topic since there are many that are still convinced that California is the state for them. What are some other reasons why someone should not live in California?

4. It was reported in 2016 that California has the highest income tax rate in the United States, this according to the Tax Foundation website.

5. In addition, according to USA Today and transportation analytics firm INRIX. Los Angeles has the worst traffic congestion in the world and although what is being written here is a little outdated, it is still relevant to the article.Here is a statistic that is really mind boggling: INRIX also found that “the average driver wasted 104 hours sitting in gridlock during the busiest commuting times last year, and lost $2,408 each in squandered fuel and productivity.”1


1 Charisse Jones, “La La Land has the world’s worst traffic congestion,” USA Today. February 20, 2017. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/02/20/los-angeles-new-york-and-san-francisco-most-congested-us-cities/98133702/

If drivers are going to be stuck in traffic for that long, then is California as great as some people like to claim? While California may not be the worst state to live in, it certainly isn’t the best place to call home either.


Jones, Charisse. “La La Land has the world’s worst traffic congestion,” USA Today, February 20, 2017. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/02/20/los-angeles-new-york-and-san-francisco-most-congested-us-cities/98133702/

© 2019 Ara Vahanian


Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on June 11, 2019:

Well Liz that's a very good question. At the moment I'm not financially stable enough to move anywhere else at the moment. The key is to try and make things work out as long as I am still here. I wrote the article to bring attention to the fact that California isn't a utopia as some may think it is. It is very different than what people see on TV. Thanks for commenting.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 11, 2019:

This puts an interesting perspective on life in California. Where would you ideally choose to live?