Report: San Francisco Facing Mass Exodus Due to Crime, Homelessness  

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Tens of thousands of people are fleeing San Francisco, California, due in large part to the city’s problems of increasing crime and homelessness, U.S. Census data and local polling shows. San Francisco County lost 6.7% of its population, or 58,764 residents between April 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, more than half of the greater Bay Area’s decline of 116,385, according to a March report from the U.S. Census. The greater Bay Area includes San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley. The population decline is part of a national trend that saw 55.5% of 384 metropolitan areas nationally with a declining population during the period. San Francisco, specifically, had the sixth highest numeric decline of residents, according to San Francisco Business Times reported in March that the city, and greater Bay area, were losing people even before the COVID-19 pandemic, with many people seeking lower housing costs, good schools, and safer neighborhoods. Southern California’s Chapman University professor and an author of a recent report, “Restoring the California Dream,” Joel Kotkin said that the pandemic ended up fueling more migration out of the city, leaving it a destination for those with money. “Today, California is a land of opportunity for trust funders and graduates of Caltech,” Kotkin told the publication. In addition to the pandemic and housing costs, 52% of residents disapprove of the job Mayor London Breed is doing, and voters just recalled District Attorney Chesa Boudin for being “soft” on criminals, a San Fransico Examiner poll earlier this month of 541 likely voters found. The poll was conducted between May26-29 and has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

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