17 Reasons Not to Move to Sacramento (Voted by the Locals!)

I was born and raised in Antelope California, a town less than a 20 minute drive from downtown Sacramento. While I never lived downtown, I always seemed to find myself there on a weekly basis. For this reason, I feel like I have a good feel for the inner city as well as the surrounding areas.

For this article, I surveyed a wide variety of people on what their favorite and least favorite things about Sacramento are. This was primarily done through Facebook and Instagram. Without further ado, here are the 17 reasons not to move to Sacramento.

17. Sports Teams

Let’s start this off by mentioning the Sacramento Kings by name…

In all seriousness Sacramento is not known as a major sports town. The two major teams the city has are the AAA baseball Sacramento River Cats, and the NBA Sacramento Kings.

For the River Cats, you can go and have a great time at the ballpark. They even recently won the 2019 AAA baseball championships. With that being said, they are not going to be popping up on your screen anytime soon, being that they are only a AAA baseball team.

The Sacramento Kings on the other hand are typically a dumpster fire year after year. Ask any Kings fan, and they will come up with a laundry list of problems with the team and their management.

The Kings have not seen any success in recent years… but next year is our year!

If a large sports team with any amount of pride is something you are looking for, do not come to Sacramento California.

16. Tourist Attractions

Tourist attractions are on this list because there seems to be a severe lack of attractions.

The biggest draw to Sacramento attractions have to do with the California Gold rush which happened in 1848.

One of the bigger attractions in downtown Sacramento is Sutter’s fort. A large wooden fort in the middle of a concrete jungle, this fort was essentially where the start of the California gold rush happened.

Along with this, another area of town is Old Town Sacramento which draws on the same roots as Sutter’s fort.

Outside of these two locations/attractions there are a lack of major focal points within the city.

15. City Government

This is not a major problem in my eyes, but it was a commonly listed problem on my survey.

Many are displeased with both city and state governments and how they are handling situations currently.

I wouldn’t say this is the biggest problem, but may be something you want to look into before moving to Sacramento.

14. Weather

While Sacramento is never going to experience snow or any temperature below 30 (and I mean NEVER), there is one very specific major problem with the weather in Sacramento.

Sacramento and California in general have a very serious drought problem.

According to the state’s official site on droughts, the longest drought the state experienced was “376 weeks beginning on December 27, 2011, and ending on March 5th, 2019.” SourceOpens in a new tab.

This was a very serious problem for those within the Sacramento area. Due to the lack of water, the state and city had to get creative in it’s water saving ideas.

This led to a lot of dead lawns, and a general restriction on water use. A few years ago when it got very bad, I remember water parks being closed, a ban on watering lawns, and finally, fines and taxation based on excess water used.

In the end, while it does not have typical bad weather, the drought problem due to the lack of rain is a very serious issue.

13. Air Quality

The city tends to be a concrete jungle with a lot of buildings and a lot of vehicles. This leads to a great amount of emissions and overall poor air quality.

According to one person surveyed, this was the top 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 things wrong with Sacramento California.

While I never thought of it as a clear negative, because a lot of bigger cities are a lot worse, looking back on my time there I really do recognize a problem.

I remember very specific days that were referred to as “smog days” where it was recommended that you should not go outside for extended periods of time due to the air quality.

Below is the forecasted air quality for days this summer within Sacramento and it’s surrounding areas.


Along with poor air quality due to emissions, there also ends up being very poor air quality due to fires around the Northern California region.

For many consecutive years, California has experienced disastrous fire after disastrous fire. While a fire was never directly near Sacramento, a massive amount of smoke usually travels and sets down on the city of Sacramento.

If you have a history of asthma I would recommend against a move to Sacramento.

12. Infrastructure

With road conditions and building in poor shape, the infrastructure of the city is not the greatest. Again this is when considering the amount of funding received for the improvement of infrastructure.

11. Traffic

There are very specific roads and areas that experience a horrible amount of traffic on a daily basis.

This was another thing listed frequently during the survey. The specific horrible areas tend to be in the heart of the city. The downtown section lined with building after building can be a struggle to navigate and leads to slower traffic.

Another problem area is the freeway that runs through the City. Interstate 80 also known as I-80 is a freeway that runs right through Sacramento and goes towards the surrounding areas.

This is the road you travel on if you want to get in or out of Sacramento. I don’t think I could count the number of times I ended up in bumper to bumper traffic on this freeway, because it happens so frequently.

Traffic tends to have a big city feel when in Sacramento.

10. Road Conditions

Yet again, there were many who were very adamant about the poor road conditions in Sacramento.

While not extremely horrible compared to other cities, the main problem people had was the amount of funding for the roads.

Recently according to the city of Sacramento, they have received “about $12 million in funding from the Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account.” SourceOpens in a new tab.

According to those who did not like the road conditions, they based this on the fact that the city had $12 million in funding for the roads. These people did not believe that the roads and their maintenance matched up with that $12 million price tag.

This point on the list is largely subjective, but it is a problem cited amongst many.

9. Sense Of Community

Again, this is a point on this list that people were very adamant about. While many mentioned this problem, it is easily summed up with one person’s quote of “People suck.”

This may be a snooty person who doesn’t like those within the community, but with that being said it goes to prove that there is a lessened sense of connection between people.

This is beyond evident with the income inequality within the city.

“In last decade, incomes fell for poor and rose for wealthy in Sacramento region. The wealthiest 5 percent of Sacramento households controlled 22 percent of the region’s income last year,”


A simple drive around the city shows the complete disregard and separation between those with money and those without. This goes to exemplify the non existence of a sense of community.

8. Cleanliness

This again has to do with the severe income inequality within the city. One block of the city may be clean and pristine while the next is littered and trashed.

One major problem for the city are the exits on the freeways where the homeless population is skyrocketing. In these areas of high homelessness where the city has let down its inhabitants, there is a lack of cleanliness.

7. Median Income

This again is a commonly cited problem, but is not a major problem when compared to a lot of other areas.

The median income in Sacramento is $71,891.


Again while this may seem like a lot compared to many other areas, this higher median income does not mean more wealth.

This median income is largely due to costs of living cited in a later point on this list. Due to the extreme cost of living, the median income needs to be more extreme.

Overall the median income of Sacramento is not great based on the cost of living within the city.

6. Local Schools

Schools within the community usually struggle, while there are some exceptional stand outs.

Below is a link to the rankings of different schools within the city.


My family consists of primarily educators, with my Mom, Dad, Grandma, and multiple Aunts working at different positions at different schools in the Sacramento area.

Because of this, I feel like I have a pretty good grip on the state of education within the Sacramento area.

From my own personal experience of going through school near Sacramento, as well as having multiple family members work at schools in the same area, I know it is not the best place for schooling in the nation.

5. Cost Of Living

Cost of living is astronomically higher than other places within the nation. According to various research the appropriate living wage rate can “fall anywhere between $8.50 and $11.25”


Given that the national minimum wage is $7.25, I would say that it costs more to live in Sacramento and California in general than other places within the country.


4. Taxes

The most common answer mentioned on the survey which I conducted was that it was it was bad to live in Sacramento simply because it was in California.

I asked these people further, why they had such a disdain for California. Each one of them without fail cited taxes as a major problem.

The major problem for Sacramento and California in general is their sales tax. The sales tax rate in Sacramento is 8.75%.


While this may seem like a lot, that is especially the case when compared to the national average of 7.12%.


If you are one who likes to avoid paying Uncle Sam extra, Sacramento would be a place to avoid.

3. Poverty

An earlier point on this list, the great divide in income inequality was mentioned. This income inequality has lead to mass amounts of poverty and homelessness within the greater Sacramento region.

“The poverty rate in Sacramento is 19.8%. One out of every 5.1 residents of Sacramento lives in poverty”


There are massive struggles for many within Sacramento to make a living and to provide for themselves and their families.

The fact that 1 in every 5 people in Sacramento face poverty is alarming and is a major red flag if you are thinking of moving to Sacramento.

2. Housing Cost

Instead of providing my opinion, here are the facts.

“Sacramento’s rent increase is the third-highest year-over-year growth in the nation… In Sacramento, the average rent rose to $1,543, which is above the $1,473 national average. That amounts to a 5.3% increase when compared to the same period the previous year, trailing only Las Vegas with 6% and Phoenix with 7.5%.”


The housing cost is rising the third fastest in the nation. This is not appealing to anyone who is looking to save some money and live in an area.

1. Crime

To be completely honest, this was not on the top of my list when I first started this project. That was until I realized a major problem specifically in Sacramento.

Obviously there is a large amount of crime in any large city, but there is an epidemic happening within Sacramento specifically. This epidemic is sex trafficking.

Four years ago, the Human Rights Society dubbed Sacramento with the title of “Second Worst City in the US for Human Trafficking.”

While ranked much lower on the link below, it still shows that Sacramento had the 6 highest calls for sex trafficking per capita with 222 per 100,000.


A simple glance at the list and you see Sacramento as the outlier, being that it is significantly smaller than other cities on the list.

This is a major problem that many are aware of within the city and which many actively work to avoid.

This is the biggest reason you should not move to California. In the end costs can be high and that can be horrible, but it makes no sense to move somewhere it is dangerous to live.

Do what you want, but these are the top 17 reasons why you should not move to Sacramento California.

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Tanson Allen

Hey! I'm Tanson! I am a writer and editor on suggested by locals. I studied business in college and hope to start my own business one day. My favorite hobby is eating ice cream.

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