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Poll: Bay Area Residents Pessimistic And Looking To Exit

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A new report from the Bay Area Council paints a bleak picture. Life in the Bay Area is so expensive and congested that one-third of residents plan to leave the region soon.

Rent, traffic and general cost of living were the three biggest sour spots identified in the poll. Residents of San Francisco and Santa Clara are the most negative about the future with more than 60% of those surveyed saying they were unhappy. Those at the lower end of the income bracket are more likely to express a desire to leave.

These views were shared by young and old alike. Roughly 37% of Millennials and Boomers were decidedly pessimistic and about 21% in each group were unsure. Gen Xers held similar views with 41% holding a negative outlook. Overall positivity deteriorated since 2014 when 57% of all residents were optimistic while only 40% are today.

Bay Area Council president and CEO Jim Wunderman says the findings are worrisome and need urgent solutions. “This is our canary in a coal mine,” he said. “We need to act with urgency, we need to act decisively and we need to act regionally to address the underlying problems of housing and traffic that are causing discontent and aggravation.”

The poll was conducted by Oakland’s EMC Research and surveyed 1,000 residents online.

Related Topics: Bay Area Council, Jim Wunderman