People have been fleeing California in their thousands since the start of the pandemic and the draconian lockdowns that followed. Now it has been revealed the population loss was the greatest in the country and a lot of those people leaving are the ones making the most money.

From 2019 and 2020 the number of people listed on tax returns fell by 39,202 and those made an average of $138,000 a year

The average income of people who moved out of San Francisco surged during the early part of the pandemic, as more wealthy, white collar workers, many of whom could work remotely, left the city.

“San Francisco’s net out-migration, which is the number of people on filings who moved out subtracted by the number of people who moved in, nearly tripled in one year,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The Chronicle report continued:

The total income in 2019 of people who had left the city by the time they filed their 2020 returns was about $10.6 billion, which compares to $3.8 billion for those that came to the city. A net loss of almost $6.9 billion. The net loss in the previous year was also negative, but much less at $2.6 billion, according to the IRS.

But fewer people living in the city means less business for local shops and directly contributed to the plunge in sales tax revenue from $165 million in 2019 to $88 million in 2020. City officials don’t expect sales tax revenue to recover to pre-pandemic levels until the fiscal year starting in July 2025.

The Chronicle interviewed Ted Egan, San Francisco’s chief economist, who said the flood of high income residents leaving will not hurt the city budget because the city doesn’t collect a personal income tax. But less people living in the city and buying from local shops directly contributed to the plunge in sales tax revenue from $165 million in 2019 to $88 million in 2020.

“Our sales tax performance is so much weaker than the rest of the state,” Egan said. “It’s one more sign we’ve had a major drop in population.”

As Breitbart News reported:

San Francisco’s rapid depopulation was also assisted by high housing costs, the Chronicle reported. San Francisco in particular has struggled to deal with homelessness, drug use, and petty crime, problems that have recently become worse.

Many cities also experienced a rise in crime and disorder following the Black Lives Matter riots of the summer of 2020.

Overall, the State of California lost 1% of its population in 2021, seeing more than 367,000 residents move to other states.