9 Pros and Cons of Living in California


One state that Americans are fairly divided on is California. Native Californians often praise the state for its diversity but from the outside looking in, other Americans have their doubts. With high taxes, crime-ridden cities, and similar issues across the state, it begs the question of whether California is a good place to move. We’ve rounded up the pros and cons of living in California that you need to know before making a move. 


1. Big Cities & Small Towns

Regardless of what you’re looking for in terms of a rural or urban, California has it. Anywhere you can find a major city, such as San Francisco or Los Angeles, within the suburbs or an hour’s drive away, there are extremely rural and family-friendly living options. In Central and Northern California, there tends to be a large number of farm towns, perfect for harvesting. 

2. Mountains, Oceans, and More

If you’re prone to get bored with your surroundings, California can be a great solution. Within the state are vast mountain ranges, national parks, enormous deserts, coastal towns, and major, dense cities. Depending on where you choose to live, you may find that all of these different attributes are within a couple-hour drive in every direction! 

3. Amazing Jobs

Whatever market you’re in, chances are that California has great employment opportunities within it. Farming, entertainment, sea life, solar, big tech, and startups – there is a spot for each of these niches to thrive while living in California. Not many employment economies can compete with the Golden State. Marijuana is also largely legalized in the state with a booming market and tons of dispensaries, as found here

4. Neutral Weather

California’s climate varies from place to place. What is the norm up north will be the opposite of what you’ll find just over the border in the south. Depending on where you choose to live, you’ll be able to escape the extremes of any one season. That means no frigid temperatures with feet of snow or blistering desert summers if you don’t want it. Or, if you do desire one of those temperaments over the other, you can choose where you live, based on that! 

5. A Foodie’s Paradise

California is home to a large population of immigrants from all over the world. Because of this, the food is phenomenal. If you’re looking for Mexican, Indian, Italian, or Vietnamese, there are multiple specialty shops in major cities and the occasional gems in smaller towns. Rather than being bored with the same type of food forever, you’ll be able to sample around the world anytime you go out – spending on where you settle!


1. High Cost of Living

California is notorious for its high cost of living. Even the most foundational needs like rent or home prices are astronomically higher than that of neighboring states. Homes that might sell for $200,000 in a place like Nevada or Arizona can sell for double the price of $500,000 in periods of high demand. Similarly, goods and services are priced much higher than in other states because of the sheer threshold needed by businesses to also survive in the costly state. 

2. High Taxes

Another area where California lacks? Taxes. Whether it be property, income, or any other type of tax, California, unfortunately, puts many residents in a tight spot. You can expect to pay high taxes both state and locality-wise on your income, taking home a significantly reduced paycheck when compared to the same position in another state. 

3. Poverty Rates & Poor Programs

Though California has high taxes to help maintain the state, it still has one of the highest poverty rates. Not only is it hard to sustain a quality way of life with high taxes, putting many under the poverty rate, but the programs for those in poverty are not the best. 

4. Homelessness

The homelessness crisis is rippling across California. Not only is the problem in major cities, but also in smaller towns when big cities push out their homeless population. Many approaches are being taken to help tackle the issue, but it still remains one of the biggest problems in the state. 


California can be a great choice when deciding on a place to live. Whether it be a small town or a major city, there are plenty of opportunities to settle in and make it your own. While there are certainly cons, not many states compare to California’s uniqueness – finding the proper balance for your needs is key! 


TBN Editor

Time Business News Editor Team