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.