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55 Reasons Why California Is The Worst State In America

Why in the world would anyone want to live in the state of California at this point?  The entire state is rapidly becoming a bright, shining example of everything that is wrong with America.  It is so sad to watch our most populated state implode right in front of our eyes.  Like millions of Americans, I was quite enamored with the state of California when I was younger.  The warm weather, the beaches, the great natural beauty of the state and the mystique of Hollywood all really appealed to me.  At one point I even thought that I wanted to move there.  But today, hordes of Californians are racing to get out of the state because it has become a total nightmare.  It is the worst state in the country in which to do business, taxes were just raised even higher, unemployment is more than 20 percent higher than the national average and the state government is drowning in debt.  Meanwhile, poverty, gang activity and crime just seem to get worse with each passing year.  On top of everything else, the insane politicians in Sacramento just keep on passing more laws that make the problems that the state is facing even worse.  Unfortunately, what is happening in California may be a preview of what is coming to the entire nation.  The old adage, “as California goes, so goes the nation”, has been proven to be true way too many times.

In dozens of different ways, the state of California is showing the rest of us what not to do.  Will we learn from their mistakes, or will we follow them into oblivion?  Please share the list below with as many people as you can.  In addition to a large amount of new research, this list also pulled heavily from one of my previous articles and from outstanding research done by Richard Rider.  The following are 55 reasons why California is the worst state in America…

1. One survey of business executives has ranked California as the worst state in America to do business for 8 years in a row.

2. In 2011, the state of California ranked 50th out of all 50 states in new business creation.

3. According to one recent study, California is the worst-governed state in the entire country.

4. Thanks to Proposition 30, California now boasts the highest state income tax rate in the nation.

5. Even though California just raised taxes dramatically on the wealthy, state revenues are falling like a rock.  State revenue for November 2012 was 10.8 percent below projections.

6. California has the highest sales tax rate in the United States.

7. California has the 8th highest corporate income tax rate in the country.

8. California has the highest “minimum corporate tax” in the country.  Each corporation must pay at least $800 to the state even if a corporation does not make a single dollar of profit.

9. California is tied with New York for the highest gasoline tax rate in the country.

10. California is the only state in America that taxes carbon emissions.

11. The state of California issues some of the most expensive traffic tickets in the nation.  This is another form of taxation.

12. As of October, only Nevada and Rhode Island had higher unemployment rates than California.

13. The unemployment rate in California is more than 20 percent higher than the overall unemployment rate for the rest of the nation.

14. The state of California requires licenses for 177 different occupations (the most in the nation).  The national average is only 92.

15. California teachers are the highest paid in the nation, but California students rank 48th in math and 49th in reading.

16. California accounts for 12 percent of the U.S. population, but a whopping 33 percent of Americans that receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) live there.

17. Only the state of Illinois has a lower bond rating than the state of California does.

18. Including unfunded pension liabilities, the state of California has more than twice as much debt as any other state does.

19. Average pay for California state workers has risen by more than 100 percent since 2005.  That is good news for those state employees, but it is bad news for the taxpayers that have to pay their salaries.

20. More than 5,000 California state troopers made more than $100,000 last year.

21. One highway patrol officer ended up bringing home almost $484,000 in 2011.

22. One state psychiatrist in California was paid $822,000 in 2011.

23. Since 2007, the number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by 30 percent.

24. Sadly, an astounding 60 percent of all students attending California public schools now qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches.

25. The American Tort Reform Association has ranked the state of California as the worst “judicial hellhole” in America.

26. Businesses all over the state of California are being absolutely suffocated to death by ridiculous regulations.

27. According to the Milken Institute, operating costs for California businesses are 23 percent higher than the national average.

28. According to CNN, the state of California had the worst “small business failure rate” in America in 2010.  It was 69 percent higher than the national average.

29. The number of people unemployed in the state of California is roughly equivalent to the populations of Nevada, New Hampshire and Vermont combined.

30. Residential customers in California pay about 29 percent more for electricity than the national average.

31. So many poor people and illegal aliens have taken advantage of the “free” healthcare at emergency rooms that many of them have been forced to shut down in California.  As a result, the state of California now ranks dead last out of all 50 states in the number of emergency rooms per million people.

32. Political correctness is totally out of control in California.

33. One California town is actually considering making it illegal to smoke in your own backyard.

34. The traffic around the big cities is horrific.

35. Los Angeles

36. San Francisco

37. Oakland

38. Stockton

39. Sacramento

40. The rampant gang activity in the state gets even worse with each passing year.

41. Crime continues to rise all over the state.

42. Just recently, the city attorney of San Bernardino, California told citizens to “lock their doors and load their guns” because there is not enough money to pay for adequate police protection any longer.

43. The murder rate in San Bernardino is up 50 percent this year.

44. In Oakland, burglaries are up 43 percent so far this year.

45. Today, Oakland is considered the 5th most violent city in the United States.

46. There have been more than 250 gold chain robberies in Stockton, California just since the month of April.

47. In Stockton, the police budget cuts got so bad that the police union put up a billboard at one point with the following message: “Welcome to the 2nd most dangerous city in California. Stop laying off cops.”

48. Jerry Brown.

49. The absolutely insane California state legislature.

50. Wildfires.

51. Mudslides.

52. The state of California lies directly along the infamous “Ring of Fire“.  Approximately 90 percent of all the earthquakes in the entire world happen along the Ring of Fire and the “Big One” could hit the state at any moment.

53. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 100,000 more people moved out of the state of California in 2011 than moved into it.

54. During 2011, more than 58,000 people moved from California to the state of Texas.

55. Overall, the state of California has experienced a net loss of about four million residents to other states over the past 20 years.

  • anonymous

    Not sure how everyone in the comments can’t see what how blatantly ignorant and completely absurd this article is… for example “32. Political correctness is totally out of control in California”. Great use of evidence there, not biased at all! I can acknowledge that the economy in California is suffering, but at least educate yourself on what’s really going on before you mindlessly bash all the “liberal douchebags”.

    • Bob Dole

      not just liberals, we have plenty of douchbag republicans, in fact most of our states problems were caused by republicans and their corporate interests, not liberals.

      • Anon

        And yet our state has been run by liberals for the last couple of decades, AT LEAST. Now, we have a Democrat super majority in the state… Re-read the list and see what they have done to drive businesses out of the state. Most of that was because of the liberals. The cities with the most liberal policies (in California) are the most expensive and crime-ridden places to live in. Also, some of the most successful businesses in California tend to be Democrat-leaning. www dot goodguide dot com slash contributions.

  • sinjonsmith

    If its so bad, then why to real estate values continue to go through the roof? Real Estate is like any other market or commodity. People pay high prices for highly desired goods. People pay high prices for California real estate because its a desirable place to live and although it has a LOT of problems, I can name 10 other states with worse problems including all the rust belt states (iowa, wisconsin, mich, indiana, ohio, illinois) where there is an exodus of people to get away from failing infrastructure, corruption and rising taxes to pay for it all..not to mention bad weather..and extremely poor southern states that have NO economy..mississippi, alabama, south carolina and Florida where the education system is worse than california…as well as some states with huge budget problems out east like Jersey…I’ll take california any day over any of these other states..California’s economy alone is the 12th largest in the WORLD and the US would take a huge hit if it didn’t exist..I don’t live in CA, but imo if you want to start a page on how much a state sux, start elsewhere…oh another thing about everyone crying about illegals…like cali is the ONLY place where that happens…its the ONLY place where people come over the border…Its a National issue idiots..and we have plenty in Chicago…I own real estate and without them, id have to pay some other white fat dude 5 times as much to work half as hard and do 1/10 as quality of work who’s probably in a union…oh which this page ironically hates because probably because unions are left leaning…

  • James

    Every time the state legislature de-funds or disapproves a highway/bridge/public university repair project on the annual budget, people pass a $1B bond ballot measure during the next election to get the state into more debt and re-fund that particular effort. Voters in CA fail to realize that a new university center or highway overpass is nice, but somebody has to pay for it by raising state debt (often paid for with new taxes).
    I used to live there, and every election had millions of new bonds to be raised for somebody’s pet project on the ballot. My rule when voting was 99% of the time “No” if it required a new municipal bond to be raised, especially if it was an attempt to circumvent the regular budget process in Sacramento.

  • James

    CA is also one of the few states where a $100K income may not be enough to buy real estate. A down-payment on a CA home can pay the loan in full for an average home in many other states.
    People in high cost living areas (LA, SF, SD, etc…) take out huge mortgages and cram 10 people in a small home to pay their mortgage every month. It’s no coincidence that many of the homes shown being flipped on HGTV are located in CA.
    Unless you’re rich, bought a home 25 years ago, or inherited property from a relative, or resort to shady funding methods (i.e. share mortgage payment with 6 people, take out multiple loans, etc…) it’s tough to buy real estate in CA.

  • Fornian’

    Ok first of all California is the best state of all. Second you are unworthy.

  • bynx110

    1. It’s California not KALIFORNIA. 2. Do you know how ignorant and prejudice you sound? It’s disgusting really. Yes our state has major problems but we are ALL U.S citizens. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Did it ever cross your small mind that maybe people from California treated you poorly because of the way you decided to treat them? Treat people with respect, we all come from different places and different walks of life. Do you agree with the Holocaust, slave trade, Native American treatment, and all the other major in tolerances in history? Think before you write….because you are clearly defining how NOT to be a decent human being.

  • EmeraldStar

    I’ve lived in Southern Cali all my life. After graduating college and going on to graduate school I decided it was time to leave. I moved to MI six months ago! Yes Detroit is bad, but it’s like that one city is pulling the entire states reputation down. No matter how bad Detroit is, the rest of the state is SO much better than anywhere I’ve been in southern Cali. Yes, I miss the diversity of people but here are some reasons a person my age would leave. The U’s in Cali can take up to six months to let you know if you’ve even been accepted. WMU let me know in less than two weeks. The cost of tuition and books are ridiculous when compared to the type of education you will be receiving (a BAD one). About 75% of students care about taking their education seriously and the rest are there for the financial aid. In SoCal it can take you months if not years (depending on what you do) to find a job, I found a job in less than a week in MI. The weather in amazing in CA and I miss the different cultures and their awesome food, but the pace is too fast, too many people are stressed out and are either jaded or jerks (not all, but there is a overhanging stress level you can’t really escape) When your worried about being laid off or making ends meat no wonder… Also, the crime! Theft is a huge issue in SoCal. Be it car, private property, or downright armed robbery. Gangs are a major problem in the L.A. area especially. Taxes are ridiculous and because larger companies know jobs are slim pickings they use it as an excuse to treat you like garbage. What are you going to do? Quit? Too bad you have kids to feed. Welcome to Cali, the suck it up things aren’t getting any better soon state. Don’t get me wrong, if it wasn’t for the people and the politics Cali is my home and I love it in a weird “that’s MY ugly baby” kind of way lol. Beautiful beaches, amazing deserts and mountains. I miss it sometimes. Then I read about a family that was murdered two miles from the high school I went to and NOPE! Glad I left. Best place to visit, but once you get past the fascination with this glamorous Hollywood lifestyle you’ll realize that it’s all a lie. Hollywood and L.A. are full of hobo’s and the whole city smells like urine and garbage. Except that small complex in little tokyo, then it smells like amazing asian food lol! Get the Golden state idea out of your head, that golds been tarnished for years :

  • Shahhe

    Oh good god. I’m fairly certain your what’s causing the poor education rating in whatever part of California your living in. Please leave this wonderful state and the education rating will probably rise in literacy at least by tenfold.

    • stassia


      Fixed it for ya.

  • Shahhe

    It is spelled with a C.
    And one wonders why Arizona scores lower than the rest on literacy.

  • Shahhe

    You keep saying that yet you’ve yet to leave. I don’t think you realize that your wanted gone, please, feel free to go to Oklahoma or Utah, or even Texas or Florida. It matters not! All that matters is that you are to leave, as you claim you wish to, and as you are deeply wanted to by those in California before people like you came here hoping for free everything, then shocked when it turned out that the presence of so many like you tarnished it. So hopefully, with you gone, and staying gone this time, California will become fully back to the days of yore. So please, leave and don’t come back once that happens. Not ever.

  • Davis Rivas

    The best thing about California is all the Freebies you can get, welfare, food-stamp, medicaid, free lunches, housing, etc.. Even prisoners in California live better than middle classes in other countries. The tax payers in CA are SO generous. Thanks guys.

  • john

    BOTTOM LINE–Those that can’t afford the California luxuries move to lesser states than bash California, cause THEY could not make it or be happy. I would NEVER leave California. Enjoy the snow, rain and cold. I WILL NOT! Have fun with all that. We have the best weed, the best weather and the hottest women. BOTTOM LINE–There is always a story behind the story when someone bashes California. Some crazy people move from California to Oregon and convince themselves that 290 days of rain a year is better, GIVE ME A BREAK! lol @ the true Californians like me that laugh at you all. Have fun in your other state and remember when you are complaining about the cold or snow or grey sky, I’m smiling with my shirt off smoking weed laughing at you fools.

  • Melissa

    I was born in San Diego 45 years ago and have never left. Oh, I wish you would get the word out so more people would leave California, and less people would come here. Then I could have less crowds, more parking, more room at the beach. Me and the millions of Mexicans will stay here in San Diego, we get along fine. Everyone who doesn’t like it, please go awayyyyyyy. It’s great because whenever I visit anywhere else I always notice: the weather really sucks and everything is so cheap! No sales tax? No state income tax? I am always blown away by states like this. That makes my dollar go a lot farther when I travel so fine by me.

  • Orisha

    The drought is caused by The Hight Priest of the world in Solidarity against Gov. Brown and all the states unions in Solidarity against AwoGbade. He is a shaman from Sacramento California who created a crime prevention youth program that Ex. Gov. Choose as his personal legacy program. Multiple murder attempts were made on this innocent High Priest and his father was murdered on Jan.5th 2013. The high pressure system blocking rain in Pacific Ocean are the Ancestors spirits in Solidarity against the injustice of Gov. Brown and police/corrections union and the denial of civil rights to AwoGbade over last 8 year period. This is only the start to what the Myans forecast. Since 12-12-12. The date Union members in Californias Department Of Justice tracked Awogbade and hitmen inserted Aids blood into him. No Justice No Water! It’s only starting in California. Without a thorough FBI investigation into Yeshua Awogbade court case in Sacramento…the forces of nature will wipe Americas Slate Clean.

  • Miaeka

    Thanks, as an European this post convinced me that California is definitely less retarded than rest of America. I’m looking forward to supporting their economy by visiting them some day.

    I love the stable and civilized societies we Europeans have managed to create through high taxation. I hope California will reach the same level of civilization some day.

    • Bob Dole

      You can keep it, we prefer liberty and freedom, and yes we will invade you no questions asked if you threaten that.

  • Shango!!!

    YESHUA AWOGBADE is my son. Ive had full custody 4 years because Shoshana Robertson in a active alcoholic and meth addict. According to Shoshana she was molested by her first cousin Mayor Kevin Johnson since age 12. After her July 2nd suicide attempt she told the Mayor, my son is his and if she dont get custody back and 2 million dollars she woukd expose him. The Police Union got behind there Mayor and multiple attempts have been made on my life. After the first attempt on my life I called upon the forces of nature for protection and punishment to those responsible. Last year was the worst drought on record because of police union actions and violation of my civil rights for 8 years. WITHOUT A REAL FBI INVESTIGATION THE NATIONS WEATHER WILL BE THE WORST.

  • Jack

    The state stinks for real…its a commie-liberal pisshole.

  • Callie

    Honestly CALIFORNIA lifestyle is the best in the country. No where else will ever compare. As someone who has traveled and lived in other places, I can honestly testify that there’s no better place to spend this precious life in. It’s a beautiful place with beautiful souls.

  • Not California

    The best thing I ever did was to move my family and company out
    of California.

    I tried for years to sell my company, few were interested
    but none would buy it as long as it remained in California, and to be honest,
    selling it in California would has set us back two careers.

    Found out by moving to Nevada
    we saved all the tax money California
    would have robbed from us.
    After a year in Nevada company was sold. we no longer live in Nevada but I will say we did leave Nevada a better place, and Nevada made us better people, Nevada gave use back the humanity California stole at every chance it could take.

    California has the worst schools, the worst people the worst cops, the worst opportunity, brought on by the worst government, the worst everything you could image, it just plain sucks.

    I went to court one time my attorney had everything laid out
    and the judge said I don’t recognize that law, the attorney said here is a brief, judge said
    I don’t recognize that law.

    attorney said here is the law book already marked all you
    need to do is read it, judge said,,, you got it. he didn’t recognize the law.

    To the judge my attorney said, you have already decided haven’t you, the judge smiled, to make it short we won on appeal, the money held by the state was returned I moved it into Nevada, my company and my family, the guy that bought my company divested all the California
    holdings, big loss to the people of the state.

    I have a buddy that is doing the same thing, pulling his
    company out of California and going to headquarters it in Nevada then divest all California holdings at a loss of
    another 900 jobs to the state.

    When you look up the word looser, California
    is on the top of the list.

    I should say I was born and raised in California,
    what I used to think was the best place on earth, Santa Clara, Then as we did better Dad moved us to Los Altos Hills.

    I went for a visit to Northern California
    to see some friends, I bought a truck that ran on propane with a big tank, I didn’t
    have to spend a dime on anything in that state.

    I hate that state so much I will never spend a dime there.

  • JULIA Dunkee III

    The Disney Hall Complex on that picture is usually under sold for concerts. The bar is lame, the restaurant prentious and overpriced, and it has all the chic of an airplane hanger. It has good acoustics and some great people come through but it is like mostly closed up during week.
    Poor Mex student work the usher roles and the mostly older elite types aren’t interesting and dress like 1800’s. It has these Sheriff deputies guarding I guess the 1% and they always look at me with why am I here faces. Sad place. Homeless vets live underneath bridge it sits on. That says it all.

  • JULIA Dunkee III

    Hollywood is supported by the economic engine of Nail Salons, Tattoo Parlors, Weed Shops, and Hooker Wear type stores. At night it has some Blade Runner type nightclubs that are from the low level to Hollywood crowds, but unlike other cities the PAPS can do whatever so it’s always crazy that way.
    Tourists keep coming though it is grimy, dirty and no stars except on premieres which are hugely policed and controlled.
    All Hollywood Blvd. has hidden cams that are watched from a special station. The LA is considered a “gateway” city and employs the TrapWire Surveillance system. Plus it is usung drones now to like Arizona.

  • JULIA Dunkee III

    It is not well understood by most but the Hollywood smarter money has left LA or is trying to. It is more than taxes. Many people come in for the Media Industry but there is a sizable exodus judging by home listings in any real estate listing service. The LA TImes is total BS propaganda that even locals call out all the time. It is strange because a lot of the moneyed are exiting fast. ANd it gives me creeps cause these people already can avoid most things. I think some event is scheduled here. I think others are aware of that too.

  • Stephanie S

    I moved to the Midwest a year ago from L.A. and just went back for a visit. Yes, it’s nice and pretty and the weather is great. Cool place to visit, I don’t want to live there again. Crime, “diversity”, materialism, frantic pace, traffic…no thanks. A short visit is pleasant but living there was becoming a nightmare.

  • Calilove

    I’ve lived in CA most of my life and I have to say I have never seen a Mexican beggar asking for money or food or anything. Selling oranges, flowers, etc by the freeway? Absolutely! I just had to point out observation after reading all of these racist comments.
    If you’re not a CA resident, you are reading some random stats that do not necessarily reflect the economic status of my neighborhood.
    Also, CA is a “horrible” state because of wildfires and earthquakes?! Get real! I haven’t witnessed any awful blizzards, huge hail storms or tornados destroying huge trailer parks in CA. Oh wait! Not many trailers here, our homes are constructed to withstand earthquakes & are built on a foundation!

  • Christian

    so much hate against the mexicans, have you ever been in a migration office? there’s many asian people middle eastern, also European people, so take your comment back and insert it inside your butt hole.

  • Christian

    nope, cali is very nice, your life sucks haha

  • Michael Hansson

    Why do Californians keep voting on these politician that is turning their beautiful state into a hellhole?

  • Funruffian

    The physical geography of California is vast and beautiful. The terrain and natural landscapes are magnificent. Unfortunately, it has too many crappy people and crappy leaders.

  • rogersan

    You forgot the epic drought going on right now…

  • allfab

    A reason why it is one of the best: the writer of this article doesn’t live here.

  • taylor

    This articles retarded. Its repeats the sames stuff over and over again. We have higher wages anyhow to hiving higher taxes makes sense, derrr.

  • sdreal

    Wow, I might as well just leave the CA after reading this. Haha. – I love living in Southern CA and I have a well paying job selling software to high tech industries. I can travel anywhere in the west, but I mostly choose to stay in CA because that is where most of the money is… and who wants to go anywhere else unless absolutely necessary? Certainly, Texas is always lowest on my list of places to visit. Outside of Austin, it’s a cultural vacuum and in the summer it’s hotter than an oven. Plus, outside of oil, the industries aren’t nearly as robust and dynamic as those in CA. – Don’t you think it’s interesting that some of the biggest and most innovative companies on the planet, like Apple and Google, are based in California?

  • Guest

    As all those people leave, the nutty liberals remain behind and their power grows. The growing number of poor will go along with whatever they say so long as the benefits keep coming and increasing. Eventually the state is going to bust and then they’ll howl for DC to bail them out, and DC probably will.

  • Anon

    Arizona especially is awful. You want to talk about a piece of trash, it’s Phoenix burning rubber smell and angry, flaring inferno environment in July.

  • izzycafe

    We have a democratic super majority and they are driving our great state into the likes of Detroit city.. only it will be the whole state. The thinking is tax and put fees and regulations on everything.. they need, more and more and more, they think it will produce more revenue to help with the unsustainable retirement and pensions of government worker. The thing is, that never ever works.. and like a horrible cancer it kills all things that are good.

  • molon_labe

    Been there. Beautiful state, nice people up north, but the cities, I wouldn’t go near there if you paid me 7 figures. I was so disgusted I will literally cheer if an earthquake breaks it off into the ocean. I’ll stick to the lone star state and the south where the people have manners.

  • Chin Sims

    No, New Jersey is the worst. Way f__king worse.

  • christopher umsted

    dont even need to read this to say that california life sucks only reason y i did cuz of a hw assignment even though me and my fellow classmates are living it

  • Smeagel4T

    Odd how housing prices just keep rising, and rising, and rising… which is a very clear free market indication of demand.

  • Lee

    I can create a list about every state in the union and tell you why it’s the worst state….it’s not hard to do. To me it just looks like this website is about fear. It promotes the idea that the world economy it’s going to collaps and so you need to buy Good and Silver.

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