What exodus? 37 reasons to stay in California

California added 12 million folks to 39 million since I arrived at the Orange County Register in September 1986.

It’s an expansion equal to the combined population of a dozen states. And one lure was strictly business – 6.6 million new jobs.

This rush of people and money brought challenges, too. California home values skyrocketed nearly seven-fold is 37 years. The congestion and costly living inspired a so-called “exodus” –  1 million more ex-Californians compared to new Golden State residents during the past seven years.

But if I’ve learned anything observing the Golden State’s economy, it’s that the story is rarely as gloomy as told. Life isn’t only the giant urban hubs. Business isn’t just Apple, Google or Hollywood. And the landscape is more than Yosemite, Big Sur or Disneyland.

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