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People 35 to 49 years old — Gen-Xers — have been leaving San Diego and taking their children along, notes Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

One reason is the high housing prices, says Cunningham. The departure of this generation "could have serious implications on the availability of talent and how San Diego's economy continues to recover," says the economist.

Between 1970 and 2000, San Diego's population went up 2 to 3 percent every year. Since 2000 it has been going up 1 percent, and since the 2008 crash, only 0.8 percent.

"Overall numbers suggest an important change going on in San Diego," says Cunningham. "Instead of a magnet for people moving here for economic reasons in the past, San Diego is exporting mid-level age ranges and their family to other areas."

Young adults still flock to San Diego for entry-level jobs, but find they can't afford the cost of living, particularly high housing prices, and they depart.

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Comments

Ponzi Aug. 13, 2014 @ 2:40 p.m.

San Diego is great for Navy folks, college kids and singles. But when couple gets serious and plan families, San Diego is too expensive. I think most of the job growth in San Diego is low-wage service jobs and most of the population growth is immigrants, refugees and the family members they relocate here.

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Don Bauder Aug. 13, 2014 @ 3:38 p.m.

Ponzi: Around 10 percent of the jobs are in tech -- biotech, electronics, telecom, software, etc. The pay there is good. But you are correct: pay in such industries as tourism is poor. Median household income is higher than the nation's, but the cost of living is MUCH higher than the nation's. Best, Don Bauder

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jnojr Aug. 15, 2014 @ 2:06 p.m.

This is what happens when demand exceeds supply, and then someone tries to "fix" the problem by pouring money into the system to "help people afford" what they want... prices head for the stratosphere.

The ONLY ways to bring down housing prices (which no current owner wants anyway) are to A) increase supply by building more (where?); or to decrease demand. And how do you make people not want to live in San Diego, other then by having prices rise to the point that they leave?

We will reach a point where prices will have to collapse. But, before that happens, anyone who can't afford to live in San Diego can, and should, leave.

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Don Bauder Aug. 15, 2014 @ 4:46 p.m.

jnojr: San Diego housing prices were down more than 40 percent at one point after the 2008-2009 crash. But then they came roaring back, thanks to low interest rates and, primarily, pooled institutional money pouring into the market and snapping up homes. There will be dips and occasional crashes, but I think San Diego housing prices will remain among the highest in the nation for some time to come. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 15, 2014 @ 4:58 p.m.

Eileen Bayer Young: Yes, San Francisco's cost of living is 64 percent above the national average, but median household income at $63,000 is the highest in the nation by a lot. San Diego's cost of living is 31 percent above the nation's, but median household income doesn't make up the difference. San Diegans are in a squeeze: high cost of living, but not-so-high incomes. Bay Area people face a high cost of living, but they also have high incomes. Best, Don Bauder

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