Is California a great place to live? It depends, new poll shows

California is a great place to live -- at least liberals and folks living along the coast think so.

For conservatives and people living in the Central Valley? Not so much.

A new Field Poll released Thursday shows that Californians’ perceptions about living in the Golden State are fractured along political, geographic and generational boundaries.

When Democrats were asked to rate California as a place to live, 53% said it was “one of the best places,” another 26% agreed it was “nice, but not outstanding” and 21% called it about average or poor. Among Republicans, 29% described it as the “best place,” 26% as nice, and 42% opted for average or poor.


Among those belonging to other parties -- or no political party -- 43% called it one of the best, 26% nice and a third said average or poor.

San Franciscans just love the place -- 54% said California was one of the best and just 19% described it as fair or poor. Compare that to the Central Valley, where just 33% said it was the best -- and 44% said it was average or poor.

The Field Poll began tracking Californians’ perceptions of their home state back in the 1960s. In 1967, 73% of those in the state considered California one of the best places to live. That plummeted to 33% during the economic downturn in 1991. This year, 43% of those polled called it the best.

Just over half of Californians older than 65 (51%) believe California is one of the best places to live, compared to 37% of those between the ages of 40 and 64. Among those between 18 and 39, 46% thought California was one of the best places to live, according to the poll.


The Field Poll was conducted Nov. 14 to Dec. 5 among 1,002 registered voters in California. The maximum margin of error on the responses was plus or minus 4.5%.


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