(Headline USA) Sitcom star Scott Baio announced last week that he is leaving California, citing out-of-control homelessness and soaring crime rates.
“After 45 years, I’m making my way to finally ‘exit stage right’ from California,” the Happy Days actor said in a tweet. “[Homelessness] brings down property value. Also no consequences for crime that is rampant, making things higher in price and it’s just not a safe place anymore. #ImFree.”
Baio quipped that his fellow Californians won’t “miss his ‘right-wing’ views,” but “they’ll certainly miss the high taxes I pay!”
Baio joins a growing exodus out of California, which has included several other high-profile figures, such as actor Matthew McConaughey, podcast host Joe Rogan and actor Mark Wahlberg.
Rogan announced in 2020 that he was leaving California for Texas, similarly citing concerns about the state’s crime rates and excessive taxes.
“I’m out of here,” Rogan said. “I’m going to go to Texas. I just want to go somewhere in the center of the country, somewhere where it’s easy to travel to both places and somewhere where you have a little bit more freedom.”
Rogan said California’s problems have grown so bad that they are now “unmanageable.”
“You look at the economic despair, when you look at the homelessness problem that has accelerated radically over the last [10 years], I think there are too many people here,” he said.
In total, more than 500,000 people fled California between April 2020 and July 2022.
The Bay Area continues to experience the largest losses in population, according to the state’s Finance Department. The northern California metropolitan lost 35,000 residents in 2022. San Francisco suffered the largest population loss among the region’s city, losing more than 5,300 residents.