9 Pros and Cons of Living in California

If you’ve ever been to the Golden State, you probably noticed perfect weather, pristine shorelines, a thriving economic hub, and seemingly endless opportunities for entertainment.

A first impression like this never fails to leave room for wanting more, so if you’re considering making the big move to the west coast, here are nine pros and cons to consider beforehand.

Here are some pros:

Beautiful sunny weather

If you’ve ever lived in a state like Florida or Texas, hearing someone say that the weather in Cali is sunny and temperate year-round sounds like an exaggeration, but we’re here to assure you that it’s not!

During the winter months, you can expect temperatures to occasionally drop below fifty degrees (Fahrenheit), and during the summer months, it’s not likely to increase beyond ninety -averaging in the eighties. So if sunny and comfortable is what you’re looking for, California should be at the top of your list!

Cannabis is legal

Aside from the beautiful weather, California is known as one of the most progressive states in the country -especially when it comes to cannabis. The widely controversial drug has been legal for medical use since the late 1990’s and was finally made legal for recreational use back in 2016, so if you’re a cannabis enthusiast, you’re likely to easily find a pot-loving community to settle into.

While it’s recreationally legal, there are still benefits to having a medical prescription for marijuana (better products, discounts, and medical-only dispensaries). If you’re interested in learning more about how to acquire a medical marijuana card for the state of California, check out this page on Veriheal.

The great outdoors

If you love going to the beach, water sports, hiking, biking, and more, you’ll find more than enough in California to keep your outdoor cravings satisfied. Choose from any of the nine national parks in the state of California, and experience a unique adventure in each from Yosemite, to Sequoia, to Death Valley.

Higher average salary

You’ve probably heard many people complain about the higher cost of living in states like California, but on the brighter side, the average salary in the Golden State is also higher. It might not be in your best interest to relocate to Cali without having a job-ready for your arrival, but you can at least expect an average salary of around $65,000 per year.

Overall higher quality of living

In most cases, Californians have a good experience when it comes to the standard of living and their ability to afford living expenses with their regular income. Naturally, the more you make, the more comfortable you’ll likely be. Aside from the basics though, there are plenty of things about California that you can enjoy for free -like tolerant, progressive, and open-minded communities, on top of the beautiful weather and natural attractions.

And now some Cons:

It’s expensive

There’s no getting around it: California is an expensive state to live in. While the state government is highly progressive, environmentally concerned, and people-focused, this comes with a heavy tax burden -not to mention the extremely high cost of housing, energy, and transportation. Top that list off with rising costs of food and other essentials, and you’d better hope that you land a high-paying job when you arrive!

It’s overpopulated

Historically, California’s population has consistently grown, crowding cities beyond the brink of sustainability. This has resulted in many of the Golden State’s pollution issues. Luckily though, and possibly due to overreaching government regulation at the onset of the pandemic, the population of California shrank in 2020 for the first time since the year 1900. People just started to leave Cali behind for lower costs of living like those of Arizona and Oregon.

Finding a place to live amongst the crowded cities of California might not be too difficult after all in the year 2021. However, some believe the drop in population may be temporary, and that California will return to it’s overpopulated glory in no time.

Higher taxes

Income taxes in California are very high. The state works on a progressive income tax system, so the more money you make, the more taxes you pay. For example, if you were to make one million dollars a year, you would pay 13% of that in taxes. That seems reasonable enough, but if you only make $40,000 per year, you still end up paying 6% in state income taxes alone. Compare that to a state that has no income taxes, and California will start to look even more unreasonable.

While real estate tax rates in California aren’t the highest in the country, the cost of real estate is near the top, inflating the amount you end up paying in property taxes each year.

Unpredictable weather

As we mentioned early on, California has beautiful weather year-round, but this comes with a risk. Natural disasters like tropical cyclones, earthquakes, tidal waves, flooding, and wildfires are a reality to Californians. If you choose to live in the Golden State, you need to always be prepared for the worst!


California is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful states in the country, but living there may not be for everyone. If you can afford the cost of living, love the outdoors, and are liberal-minded, we think you’ll find California to be just the place for you!

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