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More people moving from Los Angeles County to Inland Empire

Growing numbers of Los Angeles County residents are packing their bags and moving east to the Inland Empire.
February 17, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Growing numbers of Los Angeles County residents are packing their bags and moving east to San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Many people are heading to those areas even though the job growth isn't exactly keeping pace.

Willis Jackson didn't move from Los Angeles County to San Bernardino County for a job. He came for the space.

"The quality of life I just feel is just a lot better this way," he said. "To afford a house the size of our family to fit our family?it was like easier on all fronts."

Jackson isn't the only one lured by housing costs. Economist John Husing with Inland Empire Economic Partnership says people from all income, education and backgrounds came for similar reasons.

"There is a $150,000 housing cost differential between the two counties. Proportionally, there is a similar difference in rents. People end up having to move out here if in fact they want a place they can afford to live," said Husing.

According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau survey, 41,764 Los Angeles County residents moved to San Bernardino County in the past five years, representing the largest county-to-county migration in the nation. Another 27,496 L.A. County residents moved to Riverside County.

Husing says migration like this for affordable housing is nothing new to Southern California."

"There was a time when it was the San Fernando Valley. There was a time when it was San Gabriel. Believe it or not, there was a time when it was Orange County. Well it happens to be out here now," said Husing.

Husing says the recession slowed large-scale migration. Still, those who did relocate helped spur construction of new homes.

What hasn't followed yet are the jobs. Roughly 20 percent of Inland Empire residents must put up with traffic to get to work in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

"My wife, she did have to commute. But, again, when we came out this way, she was able to telecommute and it was just a lot easier for us here," said Jackson.

For Jackson and his family, the space he found in the Inland Empire has made his move well worth it.


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