California residents are still leaving the blue state in droves despite Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s summer ad campaign urging Florida residents to “join” the blue state.
California’s population decreased by six-figures as 343,230 people fled the state in 2022, according to data from the United States Census Bureau. The population decline follows a 30-second advertisement from July in which Newsom urged Floridians to move to the blue state where he claimed they “still believe in freedom.”
“Freedom, it’s under attack in your state. Republican leaders, they’re banning books, making it harder to vote, restricting speech in classrooms, even criminalizing women and doctors,” Newsom says in the video. “I urge all of you living in Florida to join the fight. Or join us in California, where we still believe in freedom — freedom of speech, freedom to choose, freedom from hate and the freedom to love.”
Florida led the nation in population growth for the first time since 1957 with a 1.9% increase in the past year, according to the report. California businesses have also been fleeing the state which could lead to economic decline.
— U.S. Census Bureau (@uscensusbureau) December 26, 2022
Overall, red states appeared to experience an increase in population while blue states showed a decline.
“The biggest gains from net domestic migration last year were in Florida (318,855), Texas (230,961) and North Carolina (99,796), while the biggest losses were in California (-343,230), New York (-299,557) and Illinois (-141,656),” the report reads.
Since 2020, California’s population has declined by 508,903 residents, according to the report. New York’s population decreased by 524,079, while Illinois’ dropped by 230,513.
California and New York imposed heavy restrictions on its residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both states enacted stay-at-home orders, shut down businesses and schools and imposed vaccine mandates.
Newsom and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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